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Council Addresses Growing Risk of Displacement, Sets Race and Social Equity as Foundation of 2035 Planning Guide

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/11/2015

Council Addresses Growing Risk of Displacement, Sets Race and Social Equity as Foundation of 2035 Planning Guide

SEATTLE – Council unanimously adopted a resolution today that establishes race and social equity as a foundational lens as Seattle updates its Comprehensive Plan to guide development through 2035.  As Seattle continues to grow, more people face the risk of displacement. By adopting a race and social equity lens for planning, the City can focus on strategies to minimize displacement and maximize access to opportunity for all residents in Seattle.

“Seattle is growing, and that’s a good thing. But as we change zoning and decide where to incorporate people into our City, we can’t lose the people and cultural heritage that helped make Seattle what it is,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien.  “I hope this resolution is a strong first step toward addressing displacement and enhancing access to opportunity in every zip code across the city.”

The Comprehensive Plan is a document that guides how the City will manage the 70,000 housing units and 115,000 new jobs expected to be added in Seattle over the next 20 years. The Seattle Department of Planning and Development and Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights found those at highest risk for displacement as Seattle continues to grow are generally renters, people of color, people with limited English-proficiency, or people with incomes below 200% of poverty. 

The City is currently reviewing four separate alternatives for how to guide growth and zoning decisions in the next 20 years.  The Department of Planning and Development published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on May 4th and is taking public comment for 45 days.  The public can submit comments here: http://2035.seattle.gov/. The final Comprehensive Plan will be adopted in 2016.

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