PRESS RELEASE: Council approves neighborhood planning update legislation


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Award-winning outreach results in comprehensive strategies

SeattleOn Monday, October 4, the City Council passed resolutions recognizing the work of over 1,600 community members who worked with the City to update their neighborhood plans in the North Rainier (Res. 31247), Othello (Res. 31246), and North Beacon Hill (Res. 31245) neighborhoods. These documents include updated goals, policies and strategies for each neighborhood along with an action plan prioritizing projects for implementation. 

In the 1990’s the City of Seattle, in direct collaboration with community members created plans in 38 neighborhoods that focused on absorbing growth throughout the City.  Updates were initiated two years ago. The primary reason for choosing these three neighborhoods was to capture opportunities to leverage the public investment of the new transit infrastructure – light rail – to benefit the communities.

Councilmember Sally J. Clark said, “Each of these neighborhoods have passionate and engaged people fighting for improvements in their community.  I think they’ve done great work building on the strong neighborhood plans that were developed twelve years ago, and now I’m excited to see these updated plans turn into action.”

Representatives from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Planning and Development and the Planning Commission collaborated to develop an award-winning outreach model which engaged thousands of people through an online tool, traditional meetings, and outreach liaisons who personally engaged community members from historically under-represented communities.

Highlights include the North Rainier neighborhood plan calling for improving the safety and attractiveness of transportation choices such as pedestrian, transit, and bicycle facilities along Rainier Ave S and MLK Jr. Way, while the Othello neighborhood plan prioritizes the creation of a vibrant multi-cultural business district. The North Beacon Hill plan includes improving open space and park property and partnering with El Centro to create a civic gathering pace near light rail station. All three called for creation of a central, multi-cultural community center where individuals from these neighborhoods can easily access city programs and services.

“I am excited to work with the neighborhood groups as we move into implementing the updated plans,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “I am looking forward to working with the diverse group of engaged community members who’ve brought so much passion and thoughtfulness to this work.”

The next steps will include activating action teams comprised of neighborhood volunteers to begin implementing plans.  The Council will adopt the updated goals and policies into the comprehensive plan in spring 2011 during the annual comprehensive plan update process.  The City will start working on updates to the Rainier Beach and Broadview/Bitter Lake/Haller Lake Neighborhoods.

Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21 and Webcast live on the City Council’s website at www.seattle.gov/council.  Copies of legislation, archives of previous meetings, and news releases are available at www.seattle.gov/council.  Follow the Council on Twitter at twitter.com/SeattleCouncil and on Facebook at Seattle City Council.

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Contact:

Sierra Hansen, Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s office,

206-684-8800

Megan Coppersmith, Council Communications,

206-615-0061

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