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Land Use Information Bulletin



On September 15, 2016, the Seattle City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee will hear public comments regarding potential Council Amendments to Council Bill 118683 which would adopt the Mayor’s Recommended Comprehensive Plan, known as Seattle 2035, and amend the City’s Land Use Code to implement the plan.

The Council is considering the following types of changes to the Mayor’s Recommended Comprehensive Plan:

  • Amending the Comprehensive Plan to create a new “Community Involvement” Element that would clarify the City’s policies and approach regarding community engagement;

  • Adding a policy related to residential and employment growth along transit corridors;

  • Amending the Growth Strategy Element to modify the distribution of growth by increase estimates of growth in areas with high access to opportunity and low risk of displacement, and decreasing estimates of growth in areas with high access to opportunity and high risk of displacement;

  • Amending the Future Land Use Map to delay making changes that would color urban centers and villages consistent colors or to add potential urban village expansion areas until final recommendations to implement the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda are available in 2017;

  • Amending land use (LU) policy LU 1.3 to provide greater guidance regarding the appropriate scale of development in urban centers and villages based on city goals for the character of urban centers and villages;

  • Amending Policy LU 1.3 to allow for higher concentrations of growth than would otherwise be appropriate for areas adjacent to light rail stations;

  • Adopting language proposed in the 2015 Draft Plan regarding industrial lands;

  • Amending LU 3.2 to allow for greater flexibility from development standards for school buildings;

  • Amending policy LU 7.2 to remove language “protecting” designated single-family areas that are predominantly in single-family residential use to allow for a greater variety of housing types in single family zones;

  • Amending Policy LU 7.3 to support allowing redevelopment single-family areas near urban centers and villages, not just inside urban centers and villages;

  • Add a new policy (LU 9.24) to explore tools to encourage the creation of small commercial spaces in new development that can accommodate small, local, and culturally relevant businesses, particularly those businesses threatened with displacement;

  • Amend Policy T 2.8 to prioritize transportation and traffic demand management strategies to resolve potential conflicts for space in the right-of-way;

  • Add a new policy (T 3.x) to recognize the importance of providing transportation options (including car share, bike share and taxi providers) to historically underserved communities and to limit the geographic isolation of lower-income communities;

  • Add a new Policy (T 7.8) to work with neighboring jurisdictions and King County to integrate the city’s bicycle network, developed as part of the Bicycle Master Plan, with regional bicycle facilities;

  • Add a new policy T10.11 to explore innovative means of reducing maintenance costs such as reducing the width of roadbeds or converting right-of-way into other uses or when appropriate;

  • Better define or make consistent the following terms of “high-capacity transit,” “very good bus service,” and “high-capacity transit station”;

  • Add a new policy (H 1.6) to work to decrease disparities in homeownership by race and ethnicity;

  • Add a new policy (H 1.7) to support the development and preservation of affordable housing in areas with a high risk of displacement through tools and actions such as land banking, public or non-profit acquisition of affordable buildings and mixed-income development;

  • Add a new policy (H 2.6) to work to identify affordable housing at risk of displacement and to apply measures to mitigate that displacement ahead of planned upzones;

  • Add a new policy (H 5.25) to work to mitigate the potential demolition of housing units that are affordable to low-income households without subsidies;

  • Add a new policy (CF 4.8) to seek to mitigate construction impacts of City projects on adjacent communities including on lower-income residents and small businesses in order to reduce the possibility of displacement;

  • Add a new policy (U 2.8) to work to reduce consumption of goods and products with negative environmental impacts such as plastic bags or bottles;

  • Add a new policy (U 2.9) to monitor waste reduction programs and develop new strategies when goals are not being met;

  • Adding an affirmative commitment to study the creation of a municipal broadband network;

  • Adding policies recognizing the importance of historic preservation in the Arts and Culture Element;

  • Add additional direction regarding future neighborhood planning efforts, such as encouraging plans for underserved communities or areas seeking positive changes;

  • Add a new policy to Economic Development Element (ED 1.9) to support community efforts to provide clean and safe services, marketing and promotion, business and economic development planning, community appearance and pedestrian environment, successful urban design, advocacy, and organizational development/administration in commercial districts through the formation of Business Improvement Areas;

  • Add a new policy (ED 2.6) to seek to identify and support innovative small businesses that are parts of new and potential industry clusters;

  • Add a new policy (ED 3.8) to recognize a high-quality of life as one of Seattle’s competitive advantages and work to maintain a high quality-of-life for residents at all income levels;

  • Add a new policy (ED 4.7) to support efforts to provide training and job placement for older workers and others who may have unique challenges to finding employment; and


  • Add a new policy (ED 4.8) to work with the local community in areas with low access to opportunities to provide training and education opportunities such as culturally relevant early learning training, community college centers and food industry training.                                                                                                                                                                                      

In addition to these broader policy changes, the Council is also considering a large number of more minor, technical changes. Additional information regarding the scope of changes under consideration is available on the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee website: 

After reviewing public comments and deliberating on the content of CB 118683, the Council may choose to adopt a final version of the legislation that includes some or none of the changes described above, and or otherwise differs from the legislation described.


The City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee will hold a public hearing to take comments on the Potential Council Amendments on September 15, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. The hearing will be held in the Seattle City Council Chambers at City Hall: 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Seattle, WA 98104.  Information about visiting City Hall is available at:

For those who wish to testify, sign-up sheets will be available outside of Council Chambers starting at 1:30 p.m.

Questions concerning the public hearing may be directed to Amy Gore in Councilmember Rob Johnson’s office, by calling (206) 684-8808 or via e-mail at:

Childcare will be provided upon request. Please contact Amy Gore at by Friday, September 9th to request childcare during the public hearing.

Print and communications access is provided on prior request. Please contact Amy Gore at 684-8808 as soon as possible to request accommodations for a disability.


Written comments on the proposal will be accepted through 2:00 p.m. on September 15. Please send comments to Councilmember Rob Johnson via e-mail at: or by mail to: 

Councilmember Rob Johnson

Seattle City Council

600 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor

PO Box 34025

Seattle, WA  98124-4025



The Mayor’s Recommended Plan, Office of Planning and Community Development Director’s Report, and Final Environmental Impact Statement and other key documents are available at: or by searching for Council Bill 118683.

CDs containing copies of the Mayor’s Recommended Plan may be obtained at the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections Public Resource Center, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000 in the Seattle Municipal Tower. The Public Resource Center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

Paper copies of the Mayor’s Recommended Plan are available for review at branches of the Seattle Public Library and at the Neighborhood Service Center.

A list of all potential Seattle City Council Amendments to Seattle 2035 is available at: by searching for Council Bill 118683

Or on the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee website:

Questions regarding Seattle 2035 may be directed to Tom Hauger of the Office of Planning and Community Development at (206) 684-8380 or via email at or to Lish Whitson of the City Council Central Staff at (206) 615-1674 or via email at