On November 9, the City released its Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that includes proposed changes to zoning in four areas of the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood. Previous posts provided overviews of proposed changes to the part of the neighborhood closest to the Roosevelt light rail station, to NE 55th Street, and to the Ravenna NE 65th Street business district. This final post covers proposed zoning changes to 35th Avenue NE.
What is being proposed on 35th Avenue NE?
Currently, NE 65th Street from Bryant Corner Café to the east corner of 35th Avenue NE is zoned NC1-30, Neighborhood Commercial, 30 feet high. The City is proposing that the area be zoned NC1-40, allowing for 10 additional feet.
At the corner of 35th Ave NE and NE 70th, and at most of the corner at NE 75th Street, the City is proposing to change zoning from NC1-30 to NC1-40, adding 10 feet.
Between NE 70th Street and NE 73rd Street, land would change from LR2 to LR2RC, Lowrise residential-commercial, allowing for a limited amount of non-residential use at street level.
The most significant zoning change would happen on the southeast corner of NE 75th Street, where Safeway is located. The land is currently zoned NC2P-30 and would change to NC2P-55, adding potential for 25 more feet. The “P” in this zoning designation indicates that this is considered a pedestrian zone.
Neighborhood Commercial areas are moderately-sized pedestrian-oriented shopping areas that provides a full range of retail sales and services to the surrounding neighborhood. Typical land uses in NC2 zones include medium-sized grocery stores, drug stores, coffee shops, customer service offices, medical facilities, and apartments. Non-residential uses typically occupy the street front.
Between 2012 and 2015, the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, the Wedgwood Community Council, and neighbors from both communities worked together to develop a neighborhood plan, including design guidelines, for supporting a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant business district along 35th Avenue NE. The City’s proposed zoning changes include a scaled-down version of what is recommended in the neighborhood plan, known as the Future of 35th Ave NE Plan. Information about the plan and all of the community input that went into its development is available at the project website.
The MHA EIS is now in the hands of the City Council. After considering the EIS and holding public hearings, they will take action in 2018. Amendments to the official zoning map, amendments to the text of the Land Use Code, and changes to maps and policies of the Comprehensive Plan will need to be made.