Affirming Neighborhood Plan Updates

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Can you believe it is September already?  In April, the Council passed a resolution outlining next steps for the three neighborhood plan updates in Othello, North Rainier and North Beacon Hill.

The next steps included the May Action planning meetings that many of you attended. The results from those meetings have been incorporated into action-plans that outline items that are funded and actionable in the next 1-3 years, as well as longer term projects.

Some of the goals that received the most support at these meetings include:

-          In Othello, creating a vibrant multi-cultural commercial district;

-          In North Rainier, creating a neighborhood with good and safe transportation choices including making Rainier Ave S. and MLK Jr Way S safe and attractive to walk, bike and ride as well as drive;

-          In North Beacon Hill, a neighborhood with parks and open space that serve its diverse community.

The resolution also said that Council would “recognize” the completed updates in September.  Today, those resolutions, one for each neighborhood, were introduced to the Council and will be referred to the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee.

As part of this process, I am spending time in each of these neighborhoods in September to discuss the plan updates. Building on our new outreach models, we’ll be trying to come to you – visiting a wide variety of neighborhood and community organizations.

In these conversations, we will be seeking affirmation from the community that these updates are ready to be become formal city policy.  We aren’t trying to replicate the validation processes of years past, but are seeking your feedback to ensure that there is a partnership between the city and the community as we prepare for implementation. 

Some of the questions that I will be asking include:

-          Did you participate in the development of the plan update?  If so, what was your experience?

-          Do the goals, strategies and actions in the plan update reflect items that are important to you in your neighborhood?  What’s an example of an item in the plan that is important to you?

-          How do you plan to be involved in the implementation of this plan?

We have learned a lot from this first round of neighborhood plan updates.  One of the innovations for the next round (Broadview / Bitter Lake / Haller Lake, and Rainier Beach) will be Neighborhood Advisory Committees or “NACs”.  These neighborhood-based groups will help shape process in their neighborhoods, including affirmation at the end of the update.  The NACs are currently being formed and I look forward to working with them in the coming year.

The Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods committee will consider recognition of the plan updates, along with the action plans, at our September 28thmeeting.

The goals and polices will be adopted into the Comprehensive Plan in the spring as part of the annual comprehensive plan update process, at which time any land use changes will also come before the Council.

Copies of the plan updates and action plans are available, here: