Preserving Uptown at this Thursday’s Queen Anne Historical Society
You’ve likely seen our coverage on changes to Uptown, with the potential for some areas to see new developments soaring to 16 stories. The Uptown rezone brings up the issue of preservation – how can Uptown continue to grow while preserving its historic character?
That issue is at the center of this week’s Queen Anne Historical Society public meeting, this Thursday, October 27th. All are welcome to join QAHS members and four special guests to discuss what Preserving Uptown means.
The meeting starts at 7pm at Aegis Living at 2900 3rd Ave W, and it’s open to anyone with an interest in the proposed rezone and the character of Uptown/Lower Queen Anne.
Join the conversation with these guest speakers:
- Jim Holmes, Seattle City Planner and Uptown planning lead
- Debi Frausto, Uptown Alliance’s chair of the Uptown Urban Design Framework
- Katherine Idzoriek, architect and President of the Uptown Alliance
- Jill Crary, Seattle Center Redevelopment
Parking is available on 3rd Ave W in front of the building and in the garage, entrance off W. Florentia. For garage access, use the intercom, and please sign in upon arrival.
Uptown Counterculture + Night Out celebrates the neighborhood on Tuesday
This Tuesday, August 2nd, is Night Out across neighborhoods in Seattle. Night Out is a national Crime Prevention event to raise crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood anti-crime efforts, and unite communities. Neighbors can also celebrate community and meet and greet new and old neighbors alike. Anyone can register for Night Out and get neighborhood streets closed for parties and get-togethers – but do so by the Monday, August 1st deadline.
Uptown neighbors have come together for a second Uptown Counterculture event that coincides with Night Out. This Tuesday, from 5pm to 8pm, all are welcome to attend the family-friendly event at Counterbalance Park.
What can you expect at the event? Entertainment, games, a clothing exchange, and activities featuring a number of Uptown organizations. Plus, live music from Andre Feriante, classical guitarist, and Steve O’Brien, trumpeter – both pictured below. Both musicians will perform separate music sets on Tuesday to make the event even more festive and focused on the arts.
The last Uptown Counterculture event was held earlier this Spring, it’s an event worth checking out! A great way to celebrate Night Out, meet neighbors, and take in some tunes.
Here’s an updated list of activities planned for Tuesday:
• giant Jenga
• giant Scrabble
• Triple Toss
• map of Uptown—mark your favorite spots
• community quilt making
• a kid’s sandbox
• sidewalk chalk
• POP UP Bike Pops for sale
• Free food samples from neighborhood restaurants
Thank you to Debi Frausto for the images included in this post.
City seeking input on Uptown rezoning options with public meeting on August 4th
The City of Seattle is seeking input from residents on three potential rezone options for Uptown, ranging from doing nothing to allowing mid-rise (5-7 story) buildings to allowing buildings up to 16 stories in some parts of Uptown. As we’ve reported in the past, the Uptown Urban Design Framework (UDF) is the central document that guides the future of Uptown. It includes input from neighbors and community organizations like the Uptown Alliance.
Now, the city has published a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluates a range of building heights, developed in collaboration with the community. It’s a hefty document, weighing in at 458 pages in its pdf format.
The EIS states upfront that the priorities for Uptown are as follows:
• Affordable housing
• A multimodal transportation system
•Community amenities (community center, new schools, open space)
• An arts and culture hub
• A strong retail core
• A welcoming urban gateway to Seattle Center
The Uptown UDF recommendations include developing rezone legislation, which could change building heights and development standards. The EIS outlines three alternatives which have been identified for study:
1) “No Action” which maintains current zoning and building heights for the dozens of parcels in the neighborhood that are expected to be redeveloped, but does not include new neighborhood-specific design and development standards to guide that growth.
2) “Mid-rise” with 5-7 story buildings that would include mandatory housing affordability requirements, along with new Uptown design standards.
3) “High-rise” featuring taller, thinner, more widely spaced 16-story buildings in areas of the Uptown Urban Center, also including mandatory contributions to housing affordability and the neighborhood design standards.
The map below shows the rezone area. Where there are 3 numbers separated by dashes, the first is the “no action” option, the middle is the “mid-rise” option, the last is the “high-rise” option:
If you want a say in the future of Uptown and potential rezoning that could either maintain the status quo or grow upward, now’s your time to get feedback to the city. Part of the City’s decision will be based on community comments and input on the three options.
The Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and Seattle Center are hosting an open house and public hearing on August 4th at the Seattle Center Armory Lofts 3 & 4, from 5pm to 8pm. At this meeting, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the alternatives, ask questions, and provide public comment.
In addition to the three options above, the following will also be on the August 4th agenda: the upcoming Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking Study, the emerging Uptown Arts & Cultural District, citywide housing affordability policies, and proposed transit improvements.
Written public comment can be submitted until September 1 by writing to email@example.com.
The City expects to complete the final EIS of the preferred alternative in November. Per the City: “Additional public comments will be gathered at that time before any proposed zoning changes are sent to the Seattle City Council.”
Avoid 99 and spend Saturday walking an Uptown Jane’s Walk
This Saturday, May 7th is the annual Jane’s Walk event, taking place in neighborhoods across Seattle. Named after Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), these walks celebrate urban communities. Jane was an urbanist and activist who championed a community-based approach to city building – and what better way to explore the community than by foot?
Jane’s Walks are free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The goal of the free walks is to not only explore a neighborhood, but to also share stories about the community, the city, and meet neighbors.
This weekend’s Jane’s Walk features Uptown (aka Lower Queen Anne to some). Local residents Katherine Idziorek, co-President of the Uptown Alliance and Debi Frausto, former Chair of Friends of Lower Kinnear Park and current Uptown Arts and Culture District focal point, will lead the walk.
A) Lower Kinnear Park: Meet at the entrance to Lower Kinnear Park (at the end of W Roy Street) – learn about recent park renovations and improvements
B) Counterbalance Park: Uptown’s urban stage
C) The Labyrinth: Walk the labyrinth at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
D) UpGarden P-Patch:Visit a community P-Patch garden on the roof of the Mercer Parking garage!
E) EXPO Apartments: Learn how the community worked together with developers to shape the EXPO Apartment building.
F) KEXP: Visit 90.3 KEXP’s new home at Seattle Center!
G) Queen Anne & Mercer apartments: Learn how the community worked with developers to help a new project fit into the neighborhood.
H) Uptown Parklet: Visit Uptown’s tiniest park, a park”let” at SIFF Cinema Uptown
I) South Korean Consulate: See the future site of the South Korean Consulate
J) Nielsen’s Pastries: Pop in for a coffee or authentic Danish kringle at Nielsen’s Pastries
K) Selig Office Building: See the construction of a new half-block office project
L) Thomas Street Pedestrian Bridge: Walk from Uptown over busy Elliott Avenue to enjoy beautiful Sound views and a connection to Seattle’s waterfront parks
Stop by the W Roy Street entrance to Lower Kinnear Park to join the walk at noon on Saturday. Katie will be wearing her red KEXP t-shirt, and the walk will take about an hour. Happy walking!
Uptown Alliance meets Thursday: Updated agenda with Sound Transit, Uptown Urban Framework, and more
The Uptown Alliance is kicking off the year with its first meeting of 2016. In addition to officer elections, the agenda includes presentations on the Uptown Urban Design Framework and parking study, the Roy St shelter, and an update on Uptown parks. All are welcome to attend the meeting at 7pm, Thursday, January 14, 2015 in the Community Room at the EXPO Apartments (100 Republican St).
Here’s the full agenda:
7:00 – 7:10 Welcome and introductions
7:05 – 7:50 Sound Transit 3 presentation
7:10 – 7:20 Uptown Urban Design Framework & parking study
7:20 – 7:30 157 Roy shelter update
7:30 – 7:40 Queen Anne Land Use Review Committee (LURC) update
7:40 – 7:50 Uptown Parks Activation update
7:50 – 8:00 Transportation committee update
8:00 – 8:30 Election of Uptown Alliance officers for 2016
8:30 – 9:00 Topics of concern, approve November meeting minutes
Uptown Planning Open House is Thursday at McCaw Hall
This Thursday, October 8th, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is hosting an open house and scoping meeting for the Uptown Urban Center. The meeting will run from 5:30pm to 8pm at McCaw Hall (Allen Foundation for the Arts Room)
Planning for the Uptown Urban Design Framework has been underway with community stakeholders, DPD, and the Seattle Center. The Framework provides a vision for the development of Uptown, and includes the following issues:
- Establishing Uptown as an Arts and Culture District
- Increasing housing diversity (housing type and affordability)
- Development of a multi-modal transportation system that includes high capacity transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities
- Addressing a complex parking situation
- Zoning for open spaces, affordable housing, and cultural spaces
- Advocating for a school and community center
The meeting also signals the kickoff of two actions in the Urban Design Framework:
1) DPD environmental impact statement to evaluate building height increases
2) Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking study
If you’re interested in any of the above issues or the two actions being kicked off on Thursday, attend the meeting at McCaw Hall. All interested residents and business owners are welcome to attend.