On July 31st, the 35th Ave Committee unveiled to the community proposed streetscape design guidelines, design guidelines for future development, and recommended changes to the existing zoning along the 35th Ave NE business district. Data was collected from those who attended this 3rd and final public workshop as well as others who could not attend following a 2 week public comment period. Following this, the 35th Ave Committee revised the streetscape design guidelines, design guidelines, and zoning recommendations accordingly and recieved the endorsement by both the Wedgwood Community Council and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association.
Today, the 35th Ave Committee released the final Future 35th Ave NE Plan report, culminating 3 years of volunteer work by many NE Seattle neighbors from Wedgwood, Ravenna, Bryant, View Ridge, and Hawthorne Hills. The report fitingly kicks off with a quote from Edward McMahon, a nationally renowned urban planner, which reads “The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how.” This plan is intended to provide a community-developed framework to help shape future change along 35th Ave NE so that it better meets the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods, lessens the impacts of those who live immediately adjacent to future development, benefits business and land owners within the business district, and provides improved predictability for future developers. Therefore, this plan strives to achieve a win-win-win-win, or as the Pomegrante Center would say, “multiple victories.”
The plan is not without contention. This occurs with all land use planning activities, especially when they concern such “wonky” and technical issues such as zoning. During 2015/16, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) will review the zoning recommendations described within the final Future 35th Ave NE Plan report and will undertake a legislative rezone. This process includes additional community involvement and public participation. Everyone is encouraged to engage in this process as DPD works to refine these zoning recommendations and formally change the zoning. At this point, we do not know when this process will begin, but will be sure to post information on this process when more information is known.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this proactive planning effort. This project was made possible by a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small & Simple Grant and the assistance of many others, including Makers Architecture & Urban Design and SvR Design Company.