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September 2015

Citizens invited to help shape Seattle's future

Seattle 2035 logoLike many jurisdictions, Seattle is updating its Comprehensive Plan to guide how to accommodate the 120,000 people and 115,000 jobs the city anticipates gaining by 2035. (Forbes ranks Seattle #5 on its latest list of America's fastest-growing cities.)

As part of the process, the city is conducting a yearlong, citywide conversation about the city's past, current and future direction. Public comments on the 159-page draft plan for managing growth as well as more diversity will be accepted through September 30.

The best way to comment, according to the city's Department of Planning and Development, which authored the draft, is to use the online comment tool at 2035.Seattle.gov. Citizens can view comments by others and add their own thoughts and ideas about policies and growth strategies.

Citizens can also testify at a September 15 public hearing. The City Council's Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee will hold the hearing on proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments for 2015 amendment cycle. The hearing starts at 2 p.m. at Seattle City Hall.

The Council will be considering three bills at the hearing, including measures affecting periodic updates, one neighborhood plan, and provisions related to affordable housing. Those wishing to testify must sign-up 15 minutes prior to the start of the committee meeting.

The draft plan is presented in two sections:  Citywide Goals & Policies (with 13 subsections) and Neighborhood Planning. The subsections address topics such as land use, transportation, housing, parks and open space, community well-being, capital facilities, economic development, and the environment.

In introducing the plan, the authors said the update is intended to answer key questions, including:

  • How can we make sure everyone benefits from decisions made?
  • How will people get around in 2035?
  • What types of new housing are needed and where?
  • With a growing population, how will we preserve the parks and open spaces we have and maintain our quality of life?