Friday, January 18, 2013

Thinking growth.

Lake City has been designated as a Hub Urban Village.

What does that mean?

Well, Seattle wants to prepare for projected regional growth by determining the areas best suited for accommodating this growth. They are committed to strong, sustainable communities, and created the Urban Village Strategy to match growth to the existing intended character of a neighborhood. In short, it’s better to plan for growth so that it happens in a sustainable, livable manner.

There are four levels of Urban Village designations:

  1. Urban centers: the most dense, many diverse services and employment opportunities
  2. Manufacturing & industrial centers: home to industrial businesses
  3. Hub Urban Villages: a balance of housing and employment, lower density than urban centers; focus of goods, services and employment
  4. Residential Urban Villages: provide goods and services, but not necessarily employment, lower density than the former designations

A Hub Urban Village designation means that the area has, or can accommodate, the following criteria:

  1. Zoning that allows a mix of uses to accommodate concentrations of employment and housing. 
  2. Sufficient zoned capacity to accommodate a total of at least 2,500 jobs within 1/4 mile of the village center, and to accommodate at least 3,500 dwellings units within 1/2 mile of the village center.
  3. The area presently supports, or can accommodate under current zoning, a concentration of residential development at 15 or more units/acre and a total of at least 1,800 housing units within 1/4 mile of the village center.
  4. A broad range of housing types and commercial and retail support services either existing or allowed under current zoning to serve a local, citywide, or regional market.
  5. A strategic location in relation to both the local and regional transportation network.

*For a full list and description of Urban Villages, visit
*For a map of all designated areas in Seattle, visit

So, what does this mean for Lake City? It means that your neighborhood is going to grow. Planning now for how this growth can happen will work to keep your neighborhood your neighborhood. It means that we have an opportunity to make your neighborhood better, and to expand upon the assets in Lake City such as transit connections, existing services, diversity, and natural features to create a better community for you and your future neighbors. So think outside the box! What do you want to see in your neighborhood?

Happy Trails!