The June 27 public hearing on the Seattle 2035 Comp Plan featured eloquent commentary by people from many neighborhoods and from all walks of life. We are transcribing and publishing some of these comments.
The texts of the Comp Plan sections David refers to are included below his remarks. Click “Reveal,” below, then click the numbers to jump to the text. “LU” means “Land Use Element” and “UVG” means “Urban Village Element.”
These eliminate many of the essential elements that protect Seattle citizens and neighborhoods.
Affordability: The proposed plan deletes [current section] LU-11, which says “In order to retain existing affordable housing, to discourage the demolition of residences and displacement of residents.” That’s being eliminated, and already we have displacement that’s caused by demolition of older buildings in which many low-income, special needs, immigrant, and refugee populations have been living and been displaced.
Neighborhood Plans: [The proposed plan] deletes LU-5, LU-75, LU-164, and UVG-10 which says “to collaborate with the community in planning for the future.” If we do not collaborate with the community in planning for the future, we lose what’s important in our neighborhoods. It affects people’s daily lives in the neighborhoods which people live in.
Growth Targets: We’ve eliminated the growth targets. Before, we had to stop redevelopment in those areas [that exceeded their growth targets]. Ballard already has more than 400% of their 2024 targets. The U-District has about 125%. Many other neighborhoods have much more.
Sustainability: This astounds me! The sub-title for all the previous plans has been “For a Sustainable Seattle.” And I cannot believe that the current Comprehensive Plan eliminates everything having to do with sustainability.
> In this video, at time index 1:18:04.
Deleted Comp Plan Sections
LU-5: 1. Consider, through neighborhood planning processes, recommendations for the revision of zoning to better reflect community preferences for the development of an area, provided that consistency between the zoning and this Plan is maintained. Consider relevant goals and policies in adopted neighborhood plans when evaluating a rezone proposal.
LU-11: In order to maintain the character of Seattle’s neighborhoods and retain existing affordable housing, discourage the demolition of residences and displacement of residents, while supporting redevelopment that enhances its community and furthers the goals of this Plan.
LU-34: Limit the maximum amount of lot area covered by a structure to maintain compatibility with the scale and character of an area, to provide an adequate proportion of open area on a site relative to the area occupied by structures, and to provide occupants with sufficient access to light and air, as appropriate to the intended character and use of an area.
LU-39: Preserve and enhance the City’s physical and aesthetic character and environment by:
• Preventing untimely and indiscriminate removal or destruction of trees
• Providing incentives to property owners for tree retention
• Providing protection to large trees
• Providing special protection to exceptional trees that, because of their unique historical, ecological, or aesthetic value, constitute an important community resource.
LU-40: Use the following tools to protect trees, appropriate to the size, importance and location of a tree:
• Providing flexibility in development standards
• Promoting tree retention through the design review process
• Promoting site planning and horticultural practices that are consistent with the reasonable use of property
• Educating the public and development community concerning the value of retaining trees
• Restricting the removal of trees on undeveloped land prior to review of a specific development proposal.
LU-41: Because of the many benefits that street trees provide to both property owners and the general public, encourage the preservation or planting of street trees as development occurs, except in locations where it is not possible to meet City standards intended to preserve public safety and utility networks.
LU-48: Seek to preserve views through:
• land use regulations that address view impacts with height, bulk, scale, view corridor and design review provisions;
• zoning policy that considers the effect of zone designations on views, with special emphasis on protection of views related to shoreline areas; and
• application of adopted environmental policy to protect public views, including views of mountains, major bodies of water, designated landmarks and the Downtown skyline, in review of development projects.
LU-53.1: When designing parking facilities in City parks, strive to preserve parks open space, green space, trees and other mature vegetation; limit parking to discourage auto use and discourage the conversion of surface area to parking for private automobiles.
LU-55: Employ a design review process to promote development that:
• Enhances the character of the city
• Respects the surrounding neighborhood context, including historic resources
• Enhances and protects the natural environment
• Allows for diversity and creativity in building design and site planning
• Furthers community design and development objectives
• Allows desired intensities of development to be achieved
LU-75: Limit the multifamily zones to areas that do not meet the single-family zone criteria, except in circumstances where an adopted neighborhood plan indicates that a different zone is more appropriate.
LU-80: Provide for predictability about the allowed intensity of development with appropriate development standards and density limits for each zone to accommodate a range of housing types and achieve development that meets the policy intent for each zone.
LU-81: Limit building heights to establish predictable maximum heights, maintain scale relationships with adjacent buildings, and limit view blockage. Allow for a variety of roof forms, and allow additional height to encourage pitched roofs, where appropriate.
LU-94: In order to maintain a consistent and appealing character in low-density multifamily areas, adopt development standards that help ensure new development and converted structures contribute positively to the character of multifamily neighborhoods and are compatible with abutting single-family zoned areas in terms of scale, open space and setbacks, siting, and unit orientation.
LU-164: Require conditional use review for certain uses to ensure compatibility with uses located in abutting, less intensive zones, to ensure consistency with adopted neighborhood plans, or to evaluate certain uses that could have significant impacts on other nearby uses.
UVG-33: Plan for a distribution of growth to each urban village that accomplishes the goals of the urban village strategy, and recognizes local circumstances, community preferences as expressed in neighborhood plans, and the need for an equitable distribution of growth across the city.
UVG-37: Provide safe and welcoming places for the people of Seattle to play, learn, contemplate, and build community. Provide healthy spaces for children and their families to play; for more passive activities such as strolling, sitting, viewing, picnicking, public gatherings, and enjoying the natural environment; and for active uses such as community gardening, competitive sports, and running.