Ravenna-Bryant Community Association

Serving the Ravenna and Bryant neighborhoods in Seattle, WA

Ravenna-Bryant Community Association - Serving the Ravenna and Bryant neighborhoods in Seattle, WA

Comp Plan and HALA Changes in RBCA

New Comprehensive Plan Map for 2035.seattle.gov

New Comprehensive Plan Map for 2035.seattle.gov

RBCA is embarking on some of the most interesting land use discussions that we have had in some time.  First, the City is in the process of updating is Comprehensive Plan, called Seattle 2035. The City’s Comprehensive plan is the policy document that guides long-range land use planning strategies.  While there are updates to the plan each year, this effort is part of a wholesale update to the Plan that occurs every 10 years. In the Draft Plan, the City has recommended expanding the Roosevelt Urban Village Growth Boundary into portions of Ravenna-Bryant’s Community Association’s Boundary.

The City notes that this expansion is intended to include an area that is a 10-minute walk from frequent transit (in this case, the Roosevelt LINK station, scheduled to open in 2021). In addition, the City Council is in the process of adopting a legislation proposed by the Mayor’s HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) committee to upzone most portions of the City zoned for intensive residential and commercial uses*, in conjunction with requiring 5-7% of new residential units to be made affordable a below-market rates.
The green in this map show where the City proposes zoning changes to 16% of Seattle. See more at http://murray.seattle.gov/housing/#sthash.GrgHZxBa.dpbs

The green in this map show where the City proposes zoning changes to 16% of Seattle.

The confluence of these two events presents an opportunity to provide feedback to DPD about land use policy decisions that may affect how our neighborhood will evolve in the future.  At the last RBCA Board meeting, we had a robust debate about how and where the Roosevelt UV boundary should expand, with some interest in amending the proposed expansion area to be more aligned along the 65th Avenue corridor instead of the recommended expansion area proposed by DPD.
The consensus seemed to be that there is an opportunity to better address the need for greater housing diversity (in terms of product type and income level) along that corridor and perhaps focus more of DPD’s planning efforts in Ravenna business district proper. This is an area where zoning already allows for more intense uses than exist currently, but lacks a strategy for streetscape improvements and neighborhood –specific urban design standards.  In addition, given the two current proposed developments along the neighborhood’s southern boundary on Union Bay Place, and the strong likelihood of redevelopment along 55th and 65th at some point in the future, we may want to discuss whether and when it would be appropriate to request Urban Village status for some portion of Ravenna-Bryant. An urban planning best practice is that infrastructure planning (and investment) should keep up with growth, and perhaps one or more UV designations could be a mechanism to support better planning.
So, how can you participate in the discussion of these exciting topics? First, we invite you to attend the November 3rd RBCA board meeting (yes, on election day) when we will be discussing the Comp Plan 2035 update process, and HALA.  We will be learning more about both of these initiatives and assessing whether to opine on one or both as a Board.  Second, individual comments regarding the Comp Plan 2035 should be directed to the City’s website http://2035.seattle.gov/ no later than November 20
* land zoned for a mix of multifamily, office and retail uses (i.e. “Neighborhood commercial” and “Commercial” zones)
Written by Chris Fiori and Sarah Swanberg, RBCA board members

Better know a neighborhood: Zoning in “downtown” Ravenna

Previous posts have reviewed zoning designations along a few of the arterial roads in the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood. As the city grows to accommodate more people, and we engage in discussions about what that growth looks like in transit-oriented neighborhoods such as ours, it’s important to know how areas are currently zoned.

The five block stretch along NE 65th Street from 20th Avenue NE to 25th Avenue NE is often considered “downtown” Ravenna. It is home to many places to eat and drink and health and wellness-related businesses. With a few buildings that include apartments, it is also home to many people.

Earlier this year, the area was re-zoned as a pedestrian area. Below is a map from the rezone legislation.

zoning downtown ravenna

Zoning on NE 65th Street between 20th Ave NE and 25th Ave NE. NC = Neighborhood Commercial; NCP = Neighborhood Commercial Pedestrian; LR = Lowrise Multifamily

As the map indicates, most of downtown Ravenna is zoned NCP2-40, Neighborhood NE 65th AlehouseCommercial Pedestrian up to 4 stories high. 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.

NE 65th daPinoNE 65th corner 25thThe Ravenna Alehouse and the building that houses daPino, Vitality Pilates, and Thrive Art School are examples of buildings that are 1 and 2 stories tall but could be up to 4 stories according to current land use designations. They both fit in with the pedestrian zoning designation since no residential uses exist on the first floors and windows face NE 65th Street. However, if the land to the east of the alehouse is ever developed, a parking lot abutting the street front would not be allowed.

Half of the southwest corner of NE 65th Street and 25th Avenue NE is zoned Single Family and the half closest to Ida Culver House is zoned LR2 or Lowrise Multifamily. Two houses are currently on that corner. LR2 encourages townhouses, rowhouses, and apartments.

How should Ravenna-Bryant grow?

How do we want the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood to grow over the next 20 years to best accommodate the increased number of people who will be living in Seattle? Do proposals in the drafted Comprehensive Plan, including the expansion of the Roosevelt Residential Urban Village into part of Ravenna, make sense or should increased housing and related infrastructure be spread more evenly throughout Ravenna and Bryant? How do the recommendations in the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) for increasing affordable housing intersect with the Comprehensive Plan and what do they mean in our community? These are just some of the questions RBCA board members began discussing this past week.

To get questions answered and provide the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) with input, community members are invited to check out the Key Proposals at one of their upcoming open houses. At the meetings you can learn more about what’s proposed and chat with staff to share your thoughts and ask questions. DPD will have information available about the potential expansion of urban villages and HALA.

Open house dates & locations

  • October 19, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (presentation at 6:30 p.m.), Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave E.
  • November 5, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (presentation at 6:30 p.m.), Leif Erikson Hall, 2245 NW 57th St.
  • November 7, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.(presentation at 10:00 a.m.), Filipino Community Center, 5740 MLK Jr Way S.
  • November 12, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (presentation at 6:30 p.m.), Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St.
  • November 14, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.(presentation at 10:00 a.m.), North Seattle College, 9600 College Way N.

Online feedback
You can submit your comments on the Draft Plan through November 20.  Here’s how:

1. Join the Seattle 2035 Online Community Conversation at seattle2035.consider.it and discuss the potential pros and cons of Key Proposals with fellow Seattleites.

2. Follow on Facebook and Twitter

3. Send comments by November 20, 2015:

  • Email: 2035@seattle.gov
  • Mail comments to the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Attn: Seattle 2035, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle WA 98124-4019.

Your feedback will help shape the Mayor’s Recommended Plan which will be sent to City Council in early 2016.