Tuesday’s GCC Meeting on Seattle 2035

Seattle 2035 ImageMay Membership Meeting
Tuesday May 19, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N

Seattle 2035 – Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan
The Draft EIS is Finally Available —
What’s Seattle’s Plan for Greenwood – and What’s Ours?


Almost a year ago a lot of people in Greenwood responded to a call to develop a Greenwood 2035 vision and follow Seattle’s comprehensive plan update process Seattle 2035. We formed study groups and got set – but then the process got started more slowly than expected. Now the city has produced an environmental impact statement (EIS) examining the impacts of four alternative distributions of new residential and business growth over the next 30 years. Comments are due in June, so now is the time to pay attention and chime in.

The EIS examines what the impacts would be if development could be directed in different ways, with different levels of density occurring in urban villages, urban centers or around transit. It’s an interesting thought experiment, because other than the zoning code (which has capacity for any of these options) there are few levers the city can pull to implement one alternative over another. In the end, debates over the comp plan will probably focus more on the policies and measures to implement one of these alternatives, and those actions are not yet clearly known.

Some of your fellow community council members are beginning to pore through the EIS document, so this will be a good opportunity to get an overview of what’s at issue. But we’ll also want to think through the policies and improvements needed in Greenwood over the next 30 years to make sure a neighborhood vision will be reflected in the final plan. At this meeting we’ll start that discussion – hope you can make it!

For agenda and minutes, 


     7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review

     7:05 Speaker: Gordon Clowers 
                Department of Planning and Development
                   – Brief recap of DPD’s report to Council on Multifamily
                      Parking Requirements – following up from February’s
                      community council meeting
                   – Brief introduction to the Comp Plan EIS
                   – Questions and Answers

7:55 Open Discussion: What are key issues for Greenwood
            in the Comp Plan?: 

8:20 Update on Community Council Committees
                – Land use, transportation, outreach/website, safety/health

8:30 Adjourn

Meeting Minutes

Greenwood Community Council – general membership meeting
May 19, 2015

Call to order by Rob Fellows at 7:05

10 people in attendance

Speaker: Gordon Clowers, Department of Planning and Development

1. Brief recap of DPD’s report to Council on Multifamily Parking Requirements – following up from February’s community council meeting

Discussion of parking policies – DPD and SDOT have made their recommendation to the City Council’s PLUS committee. They would maintain basic elements of current approach to eliminating parking requirements in new development. Recommendation seeks to make it easier to provide shared parking options and bike parking. Looking at improvements to RPZ system. Perhaps require developers, as a condition of receiving permit, provide a bus pass or bike share or car share membership in the areas where parking is or will no longer be mandated. DPD and SDOT recommend clarifying what is meant by “frequent transit service.” Seeking public input on all of these recommendations.

Is there a more context-sensitive, middle-ground approach to parking, rather than no mandated parking in urban centers and lots required outside it? Discussion about differences between neighborhood businesses and “destination businesses” in terms of parking needs and impact, how to manage parking demand as more businesses fill in the storefronts.

City Council PLUS committee received the recommendations but did not provide a detailed response. Mayor agreed with their report and will have to decide whether DPD/SDOT proceed with these recommendations. Questions about how public feedback is being used. They are responding to letters received.

Question about whether a condo or apartment resident in a building with on-site parking can get an RPZ. Microhousing gets 1 RPZ per unit, not 4. RPZ is fundamentally related to how on-street parking is being managed. Data showed 3/4 of buildings permitted in last few years are providing on-site parking, even where it is not required.

Can we do community benefit agreements with developers? Not much familiarity with how this would work in practice in Seattle, but interest in examining the concept.

2. Brief introduction to the Comp Plan EIS

In the comment period now on draft EIS which runs through mid-June. Public can submit comments to 2035@seattle.gov. A paper copy is available at the Greenwood Branch reference desk. Questions about how growth should be spread around the city and looking at the various implications of those alternatives. All alternatives expect 70,000 new housing units over 20 years, 115,000 new jobs added over next 20 years. All alternatives follow urban villages strategy of concentrating growth in Center City and certain neighborhood areas, such as Greenwood.

Questions about how much of growth should be concentrated in central neighborhoods (downtown, Capitol Hill, SLU) and how much should be put in other areas. Four alternatives. Alt 1: continue current trends. Alt 2: guide growth to urban centers (Northgate, U-District, downtown). Alt 3: guide growth to urban villages near light rail. Alt 4: guide growth to urban villages near transit.

Questions about how the different categories are defined – urban center, hub urban village, and so on. Urban villages were based on existing zoning in 1990s when Mayor Norm Rice was developing this strategy. Council can always amend this if desired.

Draft Plan comes out in July that will have more details about policy changes.

Is implication here that displacement is bad and city has an obligation to minimize displacement? What kind of policies are being discussed to address areas where there is a high risk of displacement? Yes, city would like to address gentrification risk, balanced against other goals. This informs the discussion about growth targets in specific neighborhoods.

Open Discussion: What are key issues for Greenwood in the Comp Plan?

Draft EIS isn’t the Comp Plan, which makes it challenging to provide feedback just on the draft EIS. All of the Alternatives would have the same impact on Greenwood. But there are policy changes that may come out in the Draft Plan that will impact us. Comments on EIS aren’t about the policies but about whether the draft EIS sufficiently examined impacts.

What are the aspirations we have for Greenwood that we want in the Comp Plan? What services do we need? Agreement on the need to connect with other Community Councils in City Council District 5. Support for also commenting on the citywide issues as well.

City is in process of reviewing the Design Review process, as well as the Low Rise zones.

Meeting at Broadview-Thompson on the new North Precinct

City Council committee voted to purchase the Bleachers Pub property as part of the new park.

Committee updates:

Transportation Committee:

Last meeting covered the Move Seattle levy proposal, a property tax increase to fund various transportation projects. Met with SDOT and provided feedback on Greenwood-related elements of the levy. 

Held a meeting with the Greenwood-Phinney and Licton Springs greenways groups to discuss access to the Wilson-Pacific schools. 1700 students will attend this campus at full enrollment. Access from west of Aurora to this site is problematic. Advocates want a safe crossing, including a stoplight, at Aurora and N 92nd.

Next meeting: Monday, June 1.

Website and Outreach Committee (update given by Rob Fellows)

Website now includes standard meeting times for committees and the Council. We have a grant to update the site. Tabling opportunities at the car show and summer streets.

Health & Safety Committee: Kelly Kasper, Committee Chair.

1. The GCC brown bag luncheon will next be May 27, 2015, 12 – 1pm at the 9501 Greenwood Ave N (Salvation Army). We encourage folks to come and share social services offerings at this lunch.  Come learn what resources are available in our area.

2. The next Safety and Health Committee meeting is scheduled for June 11, 2015, 7:30-8:30pm, location TBD.

I have yet to hear back from the SPD about having someone come to a Safety and Health Committee meeting to discuss the Micro Policing policies. 

3. The Greenwood & Phinney Hubs (The Hub at Greenwood, The Hub at Phinney Center and the Hub at Epic Life Church) will be hosting an Emergency Communications Hub drill on June 6, 2015, 10am-12pm. Please come join us to learn more about the Emergency Communications Hubs and steps you can take to make yourself, your family, your neighborhood and the greater community better prepared. We are also hoping to have a barbeque/pot luck immediately afterwards.  So, bring yourself, a dish and a desire to become better prepared! 

Let Nepal, Japan, Haiti and Christchurch serve as a reminder to us. We live in earthquake country and as such we should be learning from others about means to get better prepared.  It should be noted, that those that are prepared will be more resilient, as they will know what to do and will have the supplies to get them through the interruption. If you feel that you aren’t fully prepared for the next earthquake, please come join us and learn what to do to get prepared!

Land Use Committee: Joel Darnell, Committee Chair.

1. Next meeting will be June 9th at 7PM. Topic: Comments on Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan. Location: TBD

2. Previous meeting regarding public space & initial assignments to review 2035 Comprehensive Plan occurred May 12. Meeting notes and assignments available from Joel.

3. Other Updates: The new City park near the library may expand to Bleachers property. Per CB 11839 City Council has taken up an ordinance relating to the Department of Parks and Recreation authorizing the acquisition of real property commonly known as 8118 Greenwood Avenue North and acceptance and recording of the deed for open space, park, and recreation purposes. This requires a three-fourths vote of the City Council.

Adjourn at 8:50 PM.

6 thoughts on “Tuesday’s GCC Meeting on Seattle 2035”

  1. GCC Meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Greenwood Library. (It is on the website in several places). I am slow this month to post the June meeting info that went out in the mail, but will today – sorry.

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