Monday, November 18, 2013

The 35th Ave Committee to Develop a Streetscape Plan and Zoning Recommendations in 2014

Over the last several months, the 35th Ave Committee has been discussing how best to build on the 35th Ave Survey, along with more community feedback, to create the conditions necessary to achieve the future 35th Ave NE that so many hope to see.  A business district that is more walkable and supports the types of businesses that people want.  Through discussion with the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), we determined that the best "next step" is to hire a consultant to assist us in the following:

  • Develop a streetscape plan to define the pedestrian environment and frontage experience desired by the residential and business community that use the 35th Ave NE business district.  
  • Prepare zoning recommendations, based on survey results and community feedback, for the 35th Ave NE business district to be given to DPD for consideration.  
This scope was not only approved of by DPD, but has also been endorsed by the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association and Wedgwood Community Council.  The 35th Ave NE business district spans across both neighborhoods. 

In October, the 35th Ave Committee submitted a grant application through the Department of Neighborhoods for a Small & Simple Grant to complete this scope.  Today, we were notified that our application has been approved and we were awarded the grant!  We're all super excited!

What is a Streetscape Plan?
Example streetscape profile from the
Pike/Pine Streetscape Concept Plan
These are plans that have been approved by SDOT which define the design and character of the pedestrian environment within the business district.  They give the City and developers design guidance when determining what frontage improvements should be made along the business district.  

Some streetscape plans can include changes to travel and parking lanes; however, the intent for our streetscape plan is to only focus from the curb to the building fronts (e.g., pedestrian environment). This decision was made for a very practical reason.  SDOT has identified 35th Ave NE as a corridor suitable for a cycle track bike facility in its draft Seattle Bicycle Master Plan. If/when SDOT moves forward with a bike facility on 35th Ave NE, it would require the City to complete a design and conduct a public outreach process prior to constructing this facility.  Any such design would likely require some changes to the travel and parking lanes on 35th Ave NE.  As a result, we've decided to focus our time and resources on the pedestrian environment.

What are 'Zoning Recommendations'?
As part of the scope that we will be seeking from a consultant is the development of zoning recommendations.  What these recommendations are yet, we don't know.  We will be asking them to review what the community has voiced as their desired vision for a future 35th Ave NE business district through the 35th Ave Survey, NE 65th Street Survey, Wedgwood Vision Plan and Survey, and through direct feedback from community meetings to develop zoning recommendations.  These recommendations will then be provided to DPD who may implement some or all of them over the subsequent year(s).  

What's Next?
The 35th Ave NE will be preparing an open request for proposals to solicit a consultant around January 2014. We are expecting to co-host several community meetings with the consultant throughout 2014. There will be many opportunities for the community to share feedback throughout 2014 on the process and design. If you have questions or are interested in getting more involved, please email us.

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