Legislative Rezone Update

There has been some recent activity with the Roosevelt Legislative Rezone (Neighborhood Plan) in the past weeks and it is once again time for input (letters and emails) from the community.

[For the detailed version of the events, please read the addendum at the end of this post.]


DPD issued a Report in April recommending a legislative rezone very similar to the RNA Neighborhood Plan. After some comments indicating that there was not ‘enough density’ for an area close to transit, Mayor McGinn indicated increased height was needed especially along NE 65th between 12th and 15th where property was underutilized. The mayor directed DPD to revise the recommendation to be sent to city council.

These are the changes the mayor made:

  • Modification 1: Increase to 8 stories a large block in the commercial core, west of the light rail station. This was recommended to be zoned at 6 stories by the neighborhood plan.
  • Modification 2: Rezone between 12th and 15th north of NE 65th to 6 stories. The neighborhood plan recommended 4 stories.

The entire rewritten DPD report is here, if you would like to read it. A map illustrating the mayor’s changes is on page 10, the RNA recommendations are on page 11. The mayor’s recommendation allows a large area to be built at 8 stories and also puts 6 story buildings in front of the High School on the fruit stand block and the two blocks west of that block.

It is time to email the mayor with copies to city council.

This is a legislative rezone for a Neighborhood Plan. The community worked on this plan from 2005 and met the goals for population growth provided by the city. The mayor’s changes are last minute. His changes add height in an urban village that seems contrary to the definition of an urban village. The mayor has provided no quantitative justification for these changes.

    Should a neighborhood plan that has been reviewed and approved by the community be changed at the last minute without review and approval by the neighborhood?

    Do you want to see 6 stories in front of Roosevelt High School?

    Do you think 8 story buildings should predominate in Roosevelt’s core?

If you have an opinion, now is the time to send it to the mayor, with copies to city council members and DPD.

Next steps for the city

Plan will go to the Committee on the Built Environment (probably in August, possibly the 10th), a meeting for public input will be held in the neighborhood sometime in September, full council will vote (probably in late November or December – after budget is worked on)

Public Input Opportunities:

    Now with letters and emails
    September at the public meeting
    November/December when city council votes

For further discussion of the issue, check out this post at the Roosevelt-Ravenna Zoning Issues blog (“Mayor Alters Roosevelt Neighborhood Plan: Other Neighborhoods, Take Note”).

You can read analysis of the issues and post your own comments on this site as well.

– RBCA Land Use Committee


Email addresses:

richard.conlin@seattle.gov, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov,
tim.burgess@seattle.gov, sally.clark@seattle.gov,
jean.godden@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov,
nick.licata@seattle.gov, mike.obrien@seattle.gov,
tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov, mike.mcginn@seattle.gov,
diane.Sugimura@seattle.gov, geoffrey.wentlandt@seattle.gov


Addendum (details)

DPD issued a decision that the Legislative Rezone to implement the RNA Neighborhood Plan did not require an Environmental Impact Statement. After that decision was announced, several letters were sent to DPD, the mayor, and the city council indicating that the Legislative Rezone did not provide enough density given the proximity to the proposed light rail station. These letters came from Futurewise, Leadership for Great Neighborhoods, the law office that is representing RDG, and the Seattle Downtown Association. It should be noted that Leadership for Great Neighborhoods is a subgroup of Great City, the organization founded by Mayor McGinn before he was elected. That organization has received funding from GGLO, the architect for Roosevelt Development Group (RDG), the two principals of RDG, and the lawyer for RDG. The letters were sent to DPD and urged higher buildings in the blocks where RDG has proposed development.

In the weeks following the DPD announcement the letters from these organizations were posted online by Dan Bertolet, an employee of GGLO, on his blog www.citytank.org. There were many postings on this blog urging the city to put taller buildings on the blocks between 12th and 15th, along NE 65th.

Mayor McGinn then sent a letter supporting density, met with DPD and revised the DPD report on the legislative rezone that was then sent to the city council. The mayor indicated increased height was needed especially along NE 65th between 12th and 15th where property was underutilized. The new report incorporates zone changes recommended by the mayor.