Seattle's Comprehensive Plan
Since 1994, Seattle's Comprehensive Plan: Toward a Sustainable Seattle has guided growth in Seattle with the goal of fostering a healthy and vibrant city for years to come.
What’s Happening Now?
We have been collecting comments on what we should study in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This study gives leaders information to help them make final choices about Seattle's growth. Based on what we have heard, we are adding a number of topics to be discuss in the EIS. These are:
- Geological critical areas and water quality: relates to the possibility that new buildings might be built near landslide areas, steep slopes, or streams, or might cause dirt and other pollutants to be washed into lakes and streams.
- How growth relates to other plans and policies: looks at how the Comprehensive Plan will relate to other existing plans and ideas. These include the Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Master Plans, the Urban Forest Stewardship Plan, and many others.
- Air quality and noise: the Port of Seattle is a generator of noise and air pollutants. The EIS will mention how future growth will relate to Port of Seattle property.
- Land use and growth patterns: the EIS will look at alternatives for growth around bus-served and light-rail served neighborhoods.
- Race, social justice, and social equity: although not a typical environmental topic, the EIS will have an appendix that will include a discussion about how the Comprehensive Plan might affect the social dimensions of living in Seattle.
The draft EIS will be open for public comment and discussion later this year.
On June 24 we held our Key Directions event where over 160 people came together to discuss possible changes to the Comprehensive Plan as part of our Seattle 2035 update. We documented hundreds of comments and suggestions and will be posting this information shortly. If you missed out on the event, you can still let us know your comments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting 2035.seattle.gov and posting a comment there.
What is the Seattle Comprehensive Plan?
Our Comprehensive Plan, Toward a Sustainable Seattle, is a 20-year vision and roadmap for Seattle’s future. Our plan guides City decisions on where to build new jobs and houses, how to improve our transportation system, and where to make capital investments such as utilities, sidewalks, and libraries. Our Comprehensive Plan is the framework for most of Seattle’s big-picture decisions on how to grow while preserving and improving our neighborhoods.
Our Comprehensive Plan meets the requirements of the Washington State Growth Management Act by helping protect our environment, quality of life, and economic development. Our plan is consistent with Vision 2040 and King County’s Countywide Planning Policies.
The four core values of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan are:
- Community - developing strong connections between a diverse range of people and places
- Environmental Stewardship - protect and improve the quality of our global and local natural environment
- Economic Opportunity and Security - a strong economy and a pathway to employment is fundamental to maintaining our quality of life
- Social Equity - limited resources and opportunities must be shared; and the inclusion of under-represented communities in decision-making processes is necessary
Our plan’s urban village strategy supports the core values by:
- Directing growth to existing urban centers and villages
- Contributing to the vibrancy of our neighborhood centers
- Reinforcing the benefits of City investments in transit, parks, utilities, community centers, and other infrastructures
Annual Amendment Process
State law allows amendments to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan only once a year. The 10-month amendment process has several steps:
- You can propose an amendment by submitting an application to City Council by mid-May
- City Council then selects the topics it wants us to look at in more detail
- We analyze the proposals
- Mayor recommends amendments to City Council
- City Council considers the recommendations and adopts an ordinance to amend the plan in the spring of the following year
Seattle 2035 - Comprehensive Plan Update
We are required by state law to do a periodic update of our Comprehensive Plan. We have begun this process and we will complete it by June 2015. The update will include:
- New estimates of population and job growth
- More information about how our Comprehensive Plan relates to other City and regional plans
- Clear language and a more accessible document