2018 General Recommendations for Smart Growth
The Crown Hill Urban Village (CHUV) Committee for Smart Growth supports smart growth for a more livable, vibrant community for all CHUV neighbors. The Committee recommends the following for smart growth in CHUV as the City implements the MHA rezones.
1.Implement re-zones in CHUV in phases, informed by upcoming community planning
CHUV is pleased that the City committed community planning resources to our neighborhood, which has not had a neighborhood plan since 1998. We believe rezones for MHA should be phased-in to fully utilize the benefits planning will bring to shape a thriving neighborhood.
We suggest the initial rezone in 2018 emphasize the arterials and the current commercial zones to incentivize building a vibrant, dense central residential core in our neighborhood. These areas currently have big box stores and empty parking lots, and offer the most opportunity for additional housing and inclusionary MHA housing, with the least impact on vulnerable neighbors. Planning can inform a thoughtful rezone of the rest of the neighborhood, minimizing displacement, integrating needed infrastructure upgrades, implementing design guidelines and creating a framework for smart growth.
2. Utilize more extensive RSL zoning
The 2016 draft zoning maps for CHUV utilized Residential Small Lot (RSL) zoning more extensively than the current EIS preferred alternative map. The Committee prefers RSL as a better fit for our neighborhood and its particular challenges. RSL was generally received relatively well in our community during extensive public engagement in 2016. RSL is a good fit for CHUV given our transit and infrastructure challenges that require long-term, significant budget investments. RSL will limit displacement risk of vulnerable neighbors in our modest neighborhood, and is a better choice aesthetically and environmentally for the community.
3. Plan, budget and build necessary infrastructure to accommodate growth. Use CHUV planning to identify and budget for the infrastructure investments needed. Avoid rezoning the community beyond realistic capacity to keep residents mobile to work and services, safe and with functional infrastructure. Make investments in Urban Villages to support growth. Specifically:
- Transit Investments to accommodate the current and future additional demand, particularly given we will not get light rail and the Ballard Bridge is a chokepoint for buses.
- Integrate safe pedestrian paths in neighborhood side streets and integrate sidewalks on Greenways. Build safe, planned pedestrian walkways over and around arterials.
- Fix storm water drainage and flooding north of 85th street
- Address overcrowded schools and access to local neighborhood schools
4. Create better, more vibrant commercial spaces and a true business district. CHUV has already lost many of our local businesses to growth, and more are at risk. We recommend integrating planning and economic development tools and including a variety of spaces in new development that are affordable for small local businesses and office space.
2017 Smart Growth Recommendations
The Crown Hill Urban Village (CHUV) Committee for Smart Growth hosts an audience of over 500 subscribed neighbors living in and near CHUV. We count amongst our partners several community organizations, including: Crown Hill Neighbors, Crown Hill Business Association, Whittier Heights Community Council, Olympic Manor Community Club and Greenwood Community Council.
We support smart growth for a more livable, vibrant community for all CHUV neighbors.
In 2016, our Committee recommended and advocated for basic smart growth principles in our neighborhood. Our updated 2017 recommendations reflect extensive neighborhood feedback on draft rezone maps the City introduced in Fall 2016.
- Planning and Design Guidelines to support smart growth in our community to maintain affordable housing options and minimize displacement, ease the impacts on neighbors adjacent to arterials to create a cohesive, true urban village.
- Create a planned Urban Village Neighborhood Center located in the area north of 85th and East of 15th where there is underutilized space as Commercial Zoning is changed to Neighborhood Commercial. Planning includes design and pedestrian and infrastructure upgrades.
- Add incentives to develop our Neighborhood Center and arterials first. Prioritize creating a vibrant neighborhood center that maximizes affordable (MHA) housing units. Include on-site affordable units to address displacement concerns.
- Mitigate impacts to neighbors along 16th, Mary and 14th, which will be rezoned from Residential to Commercial, and upzoned from Single Family to NC 75 and NC 55.
- Invest in building infrastructure to accommodate growth, with an emphasis on:
- Transit Investments to accommodate the additional demand, particularly bus service
- Integrate safe pedestrian paths in neighborhood side streets and integrate sidewalks within Greenways. Build safe, planned pedestrian walkways over and around arterials for safe pedestrian access.
- Fix storm water drainage and flooding north of 85th
- Create better, more vibrant commercial spaces and a true business district. Integrate planning and economic development tools and include a variety of spaces that are affordable for small local businesses and office space.
Download a .pdf of the 2017 Recommendations for Smart Growth here.
The Committee for Smart Growth believes HALA and Seattle 2035 proposals for CHUV are an opportunity for Smart Growth to create a more livable, vibrant community for all. These recommendations were drafted in spring of 2016, and supported by all impacted neighborhood and business associations and involved neighbors.
1) Expedite developing a Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan for the CHUV – BEFORE REZONING.
We would like the City to lead the Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan so that it dovetails with the City’s growth plans for the CHUV, perhaps leveraging design standards recently developed for Ballard.
2) Incentivize density on arterials (15th to 65th, Holman, 85th) and areas that are already zoned but underutilized.
Incentivize smart development along arterials, including appropriate buffer zones and design standards to make the CHUV commercial center a walkable, livable, desirable urban center. Arterials have enormous capacity for expansion and growth, and the greatest ability to absorb additional density. Redevelop the big parking lots and one-story stores into vibrant multi-story, mixed-use commercial/residential housing and retail.
3) Limit upzoning in Single Family zones, while simultaneously encouraging density along arterials.
Displacement of existing low- and middle-income residents is a concern. We do not want to lose our lower- and middle-income friends and neighbors to $700k town homes. We believe developers will choose to build in neighborhoods rather than arterials, given the choice.
4) Prioritize infrastructure upgrades in CHUV Village before increasing density.
We propose concurrency to link density to better infrastructure capacity. Transit infrastructure, in particular, needs significant investment to meet current demand. Much of CHUV lacks sidewalks, undermining basic pedestrian and bike safety. Additionally, schools, utilities, transportation, and parks need improvement to accommodate growth.
5) Encourage commercial spaces to be built and leased to support small, locally-owned businesses.
Remove barriers and encourage building small retail and office spaces in the Crown Hill Urban Village center.