Category Archives: Land Use

Looking for Volunteers for a Historic Preservation Survey

Historic Preservation Building Survey 

Meeting to discuss and begin 
survey of potentially historic buildings 

Greenwood Public Library
Tuesday February 26th
(Main Meeting Room)


There will be a meeting to discuss and begin the Greenwood/Phinney Historic Preservation Survey.  The meeting will: discuss the survey, how it will be conducted, answer any questions, and prepare for training. Roles and tasks will be outlined and delegated. 

Please arrive promptly at 6:30p, if at all possible. Bring a note pad – paper, or electronic – as well as some idea about how you would like to participate. We will likely need at least 10 survey volunteers, along with other roles/tasks, to be discussed at the meeting. 

It would be appreciated if you could commit to participate for the duration of the survey process, incl. training, expected to last anywhere from 1 to 3 months. Interest and some previous knowledge of historic preservation, architecture/design, or technical and visual data-collecting is encouraged, but not required. 

Thanks to all who have supported and contributed to this project so far. It is the start to a very important process. It is the hope this project will also capture all our many historic resources and treasures, still yet to be discovered!

If you have any questions, please contact the G/P Historic Preservation Survey CoordinatorAlexa Berlow –


Next Monday: Meet with Developers – 85th and Phinney

Meet the Developers Before Design Review
320 N 85th Street – Project Review
(Old Dept. of Licensing Building where All That Dance is)


Next Monday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Brumbaugh & Associates 
600 North 85th Street, #102

The Runberg Architecture Group will be presenting to the Design Review Board on December 3rd and has asked for the opportunity to share their design updates with the community prior to that meeting. The developer has met with us twice previously to discuss early plans and design ideas. Please help get the word out to others who might be interested in what happens at this site,

The proposed project would demolish the existing building and build a 6-story, 203-unit apartment building with retail with parking for 126 vehicles proposed. It requires a rezone to increase the height limit on the site from 40′ to 65′, which was included in a proposed citywide rezone ordinance that’s currently on hold.


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Seattle Architecture Foundation Presentation

Here is a presentation I gave recently to the Seattle Architecture Foundation. I tried to give a virtual tour of Greenwood to a group interested in architectural trends, and in how community groups perceive of and have influenced development in Greenwood. I have to stress that these were my comments only, not a position of the community council. If you have comments, I’d enjoy reading them.
— Rob Fellows, GCC President

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Architect Foundation – Greenwood (compressed)”]

No Land Use Meeting … but Design Review Meeting Monday for the Blast Site

The land use committee  usually meets on the second Tuesday of each month, but that meeting is cancelled this month.  However –  if you need your monthly installment of land use goodness, you should consider attending the design review meeting for the building that will replace the building that blew up last year in the gas explosion. This design review meeting will address the height and massing of the proposed project. Design details will likely be addressed at a second design review meeting at a later date. GCC will invite the developer to a meeting to discuss the project design prior to that second meeting.

You can View Design Proposal  here. (43 MB)    

Design Review Meeting
January 9, 2017 6:30 p.m.

Ballard Community Center

6020 28th Ave NW
Sunset/Captain Ballard Room
Design Review Early Design Guidance proposing a 6-story building consisting of 70 residential units and 6,660 sq. ft. of commercial space. Parking for 70 vehicles to be provided below grade. One existing structure to remain and other structures, surface parking and on site debris to be demolished.”


November Meeting: How Should Greenwood Weigh In on Land Use Changes

This Tuesday Evening:
How Should Greenwood Weigh In on the Biggest Citywide
Land Use Changes in Decades?

zones-graphic-cityGreenwood Community Council Membership Meeting
Tuesday November 15, 7:00 pm
Razzi’s Downstairs Meeting Room – 8523 Greenwood Ave. N


Seattle is preparing to make city-wide changes to zoning that will change the allowable height of all multi-family buildings by one story, change single family zoning within designated “urban villages” into a new zoning category, and alter what massing and designs are allowed in specific zones, among other things. Added height is part of a “grand bargain” with developers in return for dedicating roughly 6% of new housing to affordable units, and the other changes are aimed at increasing Seattle’s density to increase walking and transit use.

On Tuesday the Greenwood Community Council meeting will help understand what is proposed, provide time for community discussion on the issues. Join us in a special location – downstairs at Razzi’s – for pizza and a slightly extended meeting to digest some complicated material (and I’m not talking about the pizza.) At the end of the meeting we will ask whether GCC should weigh in on the proposed changes and how. 

Please join us! If you’re able to contribute for pizza, that will be appreciated.

Land Use Rescheduled for Nov. 10, 2016 – Greenwood Urban Village Zoning Changes

NOTE: Rescheduled to avoid Nov. 8 Election Day activities.
Location: Couth Buzzard Books
The City HALA has released draft maps illustrating zoning changes for the Greenwood-Phinney Ridge Urban Village.  Changes include the MHA overlay and minor zonings changes. Not illustrated on the maps are changes to the zoning definitions for Low Rise and Single Family zones that are occurring in parallel. We will review the maps, zoning definitions, and also proactively consider beneficial zoning changes immediately north of the Urban Village along Greenwood Ave.


7:00 Begin Meeting and Introductions

7:10 Review Development Proposals in Greenwood

7:30 Draft Urban Village Zoning Changes

8:20 Assign action items

8:30 Adjourn

Land Use Meeting – Oct.11, 2016 – Draft Urban Village Expansion and Rezone Maps

Location: Couth Buzzard Books
The City HALA has released draft maps illustrating a first draft of zoning changes in five urban villages.  Changes include expanded urban village boundaries, zoning changes, height changes, and MHA overlay.  In addition to this, no clear path has been laid out for what will happen to Single Family Zones that fall within urban village boundaries.  We will review the maps for Aurora-Licton Springs and Crown Hill villages, and develop comments.


7:00 Begin Meeting and Introductions

7:10 Review Development Proposals in Greenwood

7:30 Draft Urban Village Expansion and Rezone Maps

8:20 Assign action items

8:30 Adjourn

Land Use Meeting Rescheduled for August 11

NOTE: We will postpone our normal Tuesday meeting to this Thursday, August 11 at Couth  Buzzard Books.

We will use this meeting to reorganize after a brief summer break and refocus on key issues expected to require our attention through this fall and into early next year.  Join us at Couth Buzzard Books from 7PM to 8:30 PM.


7:00 Begin Meeting and Introductions

7:10 Review Development Proposals in Greenwood

7:30 Major Land Use Topics for 2016-2017

  • Single Family Zoning Flexibility
  • Urban Village Expansion
  • MHA
  • Land Use 101 Document
  • Other…

8:20 Assign action items and volunteer opportunities

8:30 Adjourn

Land Use Committee Tuesday, June 14 – Mandatory Housing Affordability

Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Implementation

The City has released its report on MHA and HALA focus groups have begun to meet and provide input on HALA’s community generated principles which will form part of the basis for changes to zoning, design, and planning in urban villages.  We will review the MHA, discuss the proposed principles and provide our input to HALA focus group members representing Greenwood adjacent areas.  Join us at Couth Buzzard Books from 7PM to 8:30 PM.


7:00 Begin Meeting and Introductions

7:10 Review Development Proposals in Greenwood

7:30 HALA’s MHA + Community Generated Principles

8:20 Assign action items

8:30 Adjourn

Land Use Committee Tuesday

Greenwood Land Use Topic Priorities

The GCC land use committee will meet at 7:00 this Tuesday, April 12,  at the Couth Buzzard.  The topic is Greenwood Land Use Topic Priorities

The City Council Land Use Committee appears to remain focused on HALA, while putting aside serious discussion on such topics as Design Review and ADA/DADU policies until 2017. We will reconvene, after taking a break in March, to set out the priorities for land use in Greenwood for the next few months and also discuss potential expansion of urban villages to the east and west. Our goal is to gather topics to tackle and spend some time studying existing development proposals.

February Meeting: Growth and Affordability

Growth and Affordability 

February Membership Meeting
Tuesday February 16, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
There is broad agreement that housing affordability is one of the most critical issues we face as our City grows and becomes more prosperous.  Last year, Mayor Murray developed an action plan and community engagement is expected to ramp up this spring. In preparation for engagement on this important issue, GCC will facilitate an open and interactive community forum on growth and affordability.
The intent of the meeting is to outline Greenwood’s key affordability  issues and questions, discuss opportunities, and  lay the groundwork for further focused study by committees and feedback to the City.  Please bring your ideas/questions and be prepared to share them with your neighbors.  We hope to see you there!
  1. Welcome/overview of meeting agenda (7:00 PM)
    • Overview of upcoming GCC meeting topics
    • Overview of committees and Board
  2. Committee Reports – Committee Chairs (7:05 PM)
    • Land use
    • Health and Safety
    • Transportation
    • Outreach – call for interested volunteers
  3. Guest Speaker, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways  (7:10 to 7:20)
    • Speed limits, Gordon Padelford
  4. Growth and Affordability (7:20 to 8:30)
    • Introduction
    • Identify core issues/questions
    • Discuss opportunities
    • Summarize key points  and develop focused actions
  5. Meeting Close (8:30 PM) 
Please note that the Library’s garage closes at 8PM, so if you park in the library you will need to move your car before then.

Land Use Committee Tuesday on HALA

HALA Engagement

The GCC land use committee will meet at 7:00 this Tuesday at the Couth Buzzard.  The topic is HALA Engagement.

In a follow-up to our previous meeting, we will review the report issued for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) that puts forward 65 recommendations to consider. In response to the HALA report, the Mayor has issued a “roadmap” to make Seattle affordable, including 20,000 new homes for low- and moderate-income people, over the next decade.  Potential changes included rezoning within urban villages and expanding urban villages, among many others. The City is also currently soliciting participants for HALA focus groups.

January Meeting: Open board meeting, vote on backyard cottages letter

Open GCC Board Meeting – All Welcome
Tuesday January 19 at 7PM
Greenwood Public Library

This month’s Greenwood Community Council meeting will be an open board meeting covering a number of topics.  Anyone is welcome, and there will be time in the meeting to speak to any issue you feel the community council should be following.  

We will also vote on proposed correspondence about pending legislation on backyard cottages.  You can see a draft here, and your opinion will be welcomed at the meeting.

Proposed Agenda

  1. Committee business and meeting plans
    • Transportation
    • Safety and Health
    • Engagement (no report)
    • Land Use
      • Proposed letter on accessory dwelling units/background cottages
      • Aurora-Licton Springs urban village expansion?
  2. Plan to engage community in discussion of HALA and Comp Plan
  3. Discussion – is committee structure working and how to improve/change it
  4. Open mike for community concerns
  5. Review upcoming membership meeting plans
  6. Volunteer opportunities and board openings
  7. Adjourn

Land Use Committee Tuesday on Affordability

Obrien ImageHousing Affordability in Seattle

The GCC land use committee will meet 7:00 next Tuesday at the Flying Bike brewery.  The topic is Housing Affordability. 

The debate over housing affordability rages on as rents, property values, and cost of living continues to rise for most people in Seattle.   Affordability and livability have increasingly become drivers of public policy as terms like “Grand Bargain”, “living wage”, “HALA”, “rent control”, “incentive zoning” and “equity” join the vernacular.  We will explore the recent trends in housing cost and  availability to inform a discussion of solutions and tradeoffs that have been proposed by community groups, the City, and developers alike.

Greenwood Land Use Committee Meeting – 7PM Tuesday, October 13th

Reminder our next meeting will be 7PM Tuesday, October 13th, at Couth Buzzard.

Response to Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan

The City (DPD) released the Draft Comprehensive Plan on July 8th for public review and comment through November 20th.  On Sept. 15th, the GCC general meeting was primarily dedicated to presenting an overview of the draft comprehensive plan.  The goal for next Tuesday’s meeting is to review the comments received from GCC members , discuss commentary and analysis by others, and develop a response to bring forward to the GCC for the general meeting on November 17th.


7:00 Begin Meeting and Introductions

7:10 Review GCC comments from Sept. 15

7:20 Review analysis and commentary by others (see links below)

7:40 Develop outline for response from GCC to DPD

8:15 Assign action items for individuals on responses

8:30 Adjourn


City website for background:

Policy Comparison by DPD:

Analysis by others:

GCC Overview

Continue reading Greenwood Land Use Committee Meeting – 7PM Tuesday, October 13th

May Meeting: 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,  Continue reading May Meeting: Seattle 2035

February Meeting: Parking Requirements

February Membership Meeting
Tuesday February 17, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
How Much Parking Should Be Required 
in New Apartment Buildings?
i want to go shopping 017
A few years ago Seattle changed its development regulations to eliminate the requirement to provide parking in new multi-family buildings in areas defined as urban villages, or places with accessible and frequent transit service.  Almost all of Greenwood fits that definition, and several micro-housing buildings are being built that will take advantage of that change by not including parking as part of the development.
There are advocates and strong feelings on both sides of this issue.  Seattle’s previous parking requirements often required developers to include more parking than needed, raising the cost of living in new buildings and requiring residents who don’t own cars to help pay for their storage.  Providing no parking at all takes advantage of unused public street space at no cost to the developer or tenant.  When parking is scarce though, neighbors and their visitors have a harder time finding a place to park and need to walk farther to get groceries and kids to the car.  
So what is the right amount of parking, and what should guide the city in deciding how much developers need to provide as part of their projects?  The City Council has requested a review of parking requirement policies, and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is preparing its analysis.  Gordon Clowers is leading the team that will respond to the council, and at our February meeting he will discuss some of the factors DPD will consider in forming their analysis.
7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review
7:10 Gordon Clowers, Department of Planning and Development
                  – Parking Requirement Policies for New Development
                  – Q&A, Discussion
7:55 Land Use Committee Report/Proposed Action
                  – Pedestrian zones on Greenwood Avenue
                  – Potential Action
8:20 Community Council Business and Announcements
                  – Nominations open for Community Council elections in March
                  – Other announcements
8:30 Adjourn

Please note that the Library’s garage closes at 8PM, so if you park in the library you will need to move your car before then.

December Meeting: Dialogue with a Micro-Housing Developer

December Membership Meeting
Tuesday December 16, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.


There’s been a big to-do about micro-housing (aka apodments*) in neighborhoods all over Seattle.  Micro-housing is a relatively new idea in Seattle, allowing people who don’t need a full apartment to rent a bedroom only with access to a common kitchen.  Many do not provide parking because micro-housing many micro-housing resident don’t own one.  The micro-housing boom has caught neighborhoods by surprise, with buildings appearing all over town.  These projects have been largely exempt from regulation or public review, but the City Council is reconsidering whether to change that.

Three micro-housing developments are under construction now in Greenwood – comprising most of the development that will open here in the next year.  (One is on Phinney Ave. above the Safeway parking lot, and two are on NW 85th St.)  There are clearly potential benefits, but also unknown impacts that raise concerns for some neighbors.

Daniel Stoner is a developer who has built micro-housing projects previously, and he’s asked for the opportunity to discuss plans for a new micro-housing project on 95th St. with Greenwood neighbors – the topic of our December meeting.  KCTS recently did a story on micro-housing and Daniel was interviewed — you can see the interview by clicking here.  Representing the community council, I really appreciate Daniel’s willingness and commitment to engage in community dialogue.  This meeting will be a great opportunity for community members to understand the benefits of micro-housing, and also to pass along concerns about the development he’s proposing on 95th St., replacing the building shown below.

*Apodments is a trademark of a specific micro-housing development company, so the term micro-housing is used here.

November Meeting: What are Ingredients of a Livable Neighborhood?

November Membership Meeting
Tuesday November 18, 7:00 – 8:30


Taproot Theatre’s Stage Door Cafe, 208 N 85th St.
(Refreshments available)


This month’s community council meeting is part of the year-long “Greenwood 2035” planning process to help inform Seattle’s comprehensive plan update.  Three study groups have had their initial meetings to discuss land use, transportation and sidewalk issues.  This month’s membership meeting will be an open meeting of the land use study group (usually on third Thursday evenings).

Seattle’s “Urban Village” strategy is to identify areas where new growth is planned, and prioritize city investment into making these become high quality urban environments. The question is — what defines a high quality environment, and what steps can the city take as a practical matter to make this policy meaningful?  Some feel that density is needed to bring pedestrian traffic that supports thriving business districts, others focus on the need for sidewalks, parks and play fields.  We have seen massive development near Aurora Avenue and Holman Rd. – what can the city do to make these places the high quality urban environments envisioned in the comp plan?

This meeting will be an extended meeting of the study group open to anyone who wants to participate.  Study group participants were to come prepared to discuss the issue, but most likely this will be an open-ended discussion for anyone interested in the subject.  


7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review
7:10 Update on Greenwood 2035 Study Groups
7:15 Presentations of research by study group members (if any this month)
7:25 Open discussion on ingredients for livable neighborhoods
8:05 Summary – points of agreement
8:15 Next study group topic – brainstorm research needed and assign tasks
8:30 Adjourn

September Meeting: Intro to Seattle 2035 (at Taproot)

September Membership Meeting
Tuesday September 16, 7:00 – 8:30
We’ll meet at the Taproot Theatre Cafe, 208 N 85th St.
** (Refreshments available!) **

Topic: Introduction and Overview of the 
Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update
This month’s community council meeting will also be the kick-off for the Greenwood 2035 Study Groups.  Tom Hauger from Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development will give an overview of the Seattle 2035 update process for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan and some of the key issues that will be addressed.  Tom will also take audience questions.  This will be a good opportunity to get oriented to the comprehensive planning process for those who hope to become more involved in it.  (For those who are opinionated about development issues, this is not the forum to air them, but there will be plenty of opportunities as the process continues.)


7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review
7:10 Introduction and Overview of Seattle 2035 – Tom Hauger
8:00 Status and update on the Greenwood 2035 Study Groups
8:10 Announcements and information sharing – around the table
8:25 Adjourn and clean up – need to let the cafe staff go home at 8:30

Note – October’s meeting will be the annual Election Forum at the Taproot Theatre.  Mark your calendars now — October 21 at 7:00PM.

June Meeting: Greenwood 2035 Plan

June Membership Meeting
Tuesday June 17, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Public Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N

Tomorrow (Tuesday)’s community council meeting will be an open meeting of the board to discuss the Greenwood 2035 planning effort described in a post below. If you’re interested or have other community issues you’d like to discuss, please join us – everyone is welcome.

Seattle is beginning a year-long effort on a major update to its comprehensive plan, identifying where new development should occur and what city investments will be needed to accommodate growth. The initial plan focus is on whether urban centers (downtown, Capitol Hill, Northgate) and/or stations near light rail should be upzoned to be far denser than today; but eventually the plan must also address city plans for transportation, schools, parks, housing affordability and other critical issues that will affect Greenwood. Greenwood 2035 will prepare us to participate on behalf of our neighborhood, and to inform and engage Greenwood neighbors to influence the plan to benefit Greenwood’s livability.

If you’ve thought about getting involved in the neighborhood, this is a great time to do it. This will be a great opportunity to meet neighbors and learn how the city works. We will be planning and recruiting for Greenwood 2035 over the summer so we’ll be ready to hit the ground running next September. Please take a look at the call for volunteers below, and consider joining the discussion tomorrow (Tuesday) night.