Northgate Rezone Update

The following was sent to members of the Northgate Stakeholders Group. Lorna Mracheck is the representative from Pinehurst and I am her alternate. I am posting this here because I know many in the neighborhood are very interested in the progress of the proposed Northgate rezone. Please feel free to contact Lorna or me if you have any questions at all on this issue. And, you can read more about the Northgate Rezone and Northgate Stakeholders Group here.

Dear Northgate Stakeholder,

We are making deliberate progress on the Northgate Rezone strategy and we’ve arrived at a place where we want to reconvene the Stakeholders to work through the details. I’m writing for two main reasons: first we’re asking for volunteers who want to work as a stakeholder subcommittee on this effort before we finalize our presentation to the full stakeholder group. Second, we want to let you know that we are submitting a draft, proposed amendment to Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan related to Northgate.

Each year, the Mayor, with input from the public, submits proposed updates to the city’s Comprehensive Plan to the City Council. A Northgate-related amendment can do two things: it can clarify the use of design guidelines and the Design Review process to address the special characteristics of development in the Northgate area and it can provide additional support for future potential contract rezones along NE Northgate Way if property owners and developers are able to adequately address impacts on height, bulk & scale, transportation, and the pedestrian environment.

The amendment process begins with the submittal of a list of proposed amendments to the City Council by May 15. For now, we will submit this amendment idea to be an item on that list. After May 15, DPD and the Mayor will continue to work on this amendment. The details and the specific language of the amendment will be worked out in concert with our work with you on the final Northgate Rezone proposal. In December 2009, the Mayor will make his recommendations on Comprehensive Plan amendments to the City Council. The City Council will make final decisions on these Comprehensive Plan Amendments in March 2010. Public input can be submitted to the City Council throughout the review process.

We understand that including potential Northgate-related amendments may seem out of order since we haven’t spoken with you about it yet, but our work together will be simultaneous with the city’s Comprehensive Plan amendment process. This will give you the opportunity to understand how this fits with our overall strategy as well as giving you the chance to have input on the amendments.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (the Final EIS) on the proposal is not yet complete although we are moving forward on that as well. The City is working with its consultants and responding to comments made in response to the Draft EIS. At the December 9, 2008 stakeholders meeting, you generally supported a plan to convene a subcommittee of stakeholders to dig in and understand the details of the rezone strategy. Our facilitation team from Triangle would review the makeup of that subcommittee for balance, and the subcommittee would report and possibly make a recommendation to the full stakeholders group at a subsequent meeting. The time has come to seek volunteers to serve on that subcommittee.

Let Mark Troxel know via email if you are interested in serving on the subcommittee, which we anticipate will meet in June depending on the schedule of volunteers. Mark will forward names to Vicki King of Triangle. We will prepare materials for the meeting and share them with the committee at least one week before the committee meets.

Thanks for your patience and for all your hard work on behalf of Northgate.

Paul Fischburg
Senior Policy Analyst
Seattle Office of Policy & Management
600 5th Ave, 6th Floor
PO Box 94745
Seattle, WA 98124-4745
(206) 684-8395

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