Open House: Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth

May 8, 2014 @ 12:30 am – 2:30 am
Ballard Public Library
5614 22nd Avenue Northwest
Seattle, WA 98107
David Goldberg
(206) 615-1447

City Partners with Community to Begin Urban Design Framework for Ballard’s Future

-Seeking Feedback for Ballard Urban Design Study

Over the past decade, Ballard has seen significant changes from the “sleepy” neighborhood it once was. The area has become denser as it became attractive to younger people and to families with children. At the same time, the job market has changed, but job growth has not kept up with the population growth.

The City of Seattle is partnering with the community on a coordinated and strategic planning effort to address these changes and help create a vision that will shape growth and guide new development in Ballard.

For the past year, the Department of Planning and Development and Seattle Department of Transportation have been coordinating with the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth as they have identified issues and opportunities to address as Ballard grows. In response to their work, the addition of RapidRide and potential light rail to Ballard, the City has begun work on an Urban Design Framework (UDF). It will be a collaborative vision and recommendation for urban design, land use, transportation and other strategies that will guide future development while ensuring Ballard’s people and places thrive. We’ll look at a larger area to understand the context, but the focus of work is on where we are likely to see continued development and change in the coming years (see map).

The City is hosting an open house at the Ballard Library on May 7 from 5:30 – 7:30 to provide an opportunity to learn about the project, join in conversations about Ballard’s future, and share your ideas. Since Ballard has many active users of online news and blogs, the City is using the Imagine Seattle website to get your feedback on a series of topics over the next few weeks. Each week, the site will provide some facts about Ballard (a full background report is available here) and prompt you for your thoughts and priorities. Many questions allow you to “map” suggestions, and once registered, you will receive weekly updates about the conversations. Whether online or at a meeting, the City and Ballard Partnership hope to encourage a respectful and productive exchange among neighbors – we want to hear all of Ballard’s ideas about the future.

The Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth is tackling many topics and recently received an $85,000 grant from the City’s Only in Seattle program. Working with the City they identified the following areas that the City can address through the year-long UDF project. Your thoughts and ideas are needed to help direct and prioritize our work on the following topics:

  • Character of Development: Ballard is booming.  What should the mix and character of development be as the Ballard core grows?
  • Improve Connections: Metro introduced Rapid Ride, and by mid-2014, Sound Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation will have completed their study of possible high-capacity transit improvements between Ballard and downtown Seattle. What types of transportation connections are needed to support growth, and what are the opportunities and challenges presented by the potential high capacity transit stations?
  • Expand Economic Opportunity: The local business community, neighborhood groups, and non-profits have mobilized to form a Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth with the mission to encourage investment and identify strategies to augment Ballard’s commercial core. How can the City grow and diversify to expand economic opportunity?
  • Sustain Health: The primary goal of this collaboration is to foster an environment that supports the health and access to opportunity for a diverse community. What specific actions should we take to increase access to resources such as affordable housing, employment, and safe public spaces that support a healthy community?

The Imagine Seattle website does require registration, so if you don’t wish to join the conversation online, you can fill out a one-time survey or attend the open house. This is the first of three phases of work and coordinated community engagement. The City and Ballard Partnership will use all the input to shape recommendations.

What do you think about the future of Ballard? Here’s how you can provide your feedback:

Questions? Comments?
David Goldberg, Planner
(206) 615-1447

Aditi Kambuj, Planner