Earlier this month, the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) in conjunction with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) held an open house on updating Capitol Hill’s neighborhood design guidelines. The design guidelines update follows on the heels of updated design guidelines adopted in July specific to the Pike/Pine precinct within Capitol Hill: these guidelines tackle the rest of the neighborhood.
The city is pursuing an update to the neighborhood design guidelines for several reasons:
- Significant neighborhood-wide zoning changes are on the way as part of the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability program
- Light rail has opened up on Capitol Hill creating an opportunity to rethink design as it relates to transit access
- The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict has pushed the neighborhood toward new livability and ecological goals
- Changes to citywide design guidelines have made some neighborhood guidelines out of sync or redundant, and finally,
- The neighborhood has a robust forum for community design through the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council and the Capitol Hill Community Council.
On top of that, there has simply been a lot of change in the neighborhood since Capitol Hill’s design guidelines were first adopted in 2005. The last update in 2013 was comparatively narrow in scope to this intended update.