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Record No: Res 31752    Version: Council Bill No:
Type: Resolution (Res) Status: Adopted
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 7/24/2017
Ordinance No:
Title: A RESOLUTION recognizing the extensive efforts of the Central Area community to create the 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson) and Urban Design Framework (UDF), the commitment and efforts of the 23rd Avenue Action Community Team (23rd Avenue ACT), for taking the lead to implement Central Area community vision and priorities as reflected by these plans, and identifying actions of the City and its partners to work with the community to implement these plans.
Sponsors: Rob Johnson
Attachments: 1. Ex A - 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson), 2. Ex B - 23rd Avenue (Union–Cherry–Jackson) Urban Design Framework
Supporting documents: 1. Proposed Substitute (added; 7/24/17), 2. Summary and Fiscal Note, 3. Mayor's Letter, 4. Director's Report, 5. Presentation (06/20/17), 6. Central Staff Memo (07/18/17), 7. Proposed Amendment (added 7/21/17), 8. Proposed Substitute (added 7/21/17), 9. Signed Resn_31752, 10. Affidavit of Publication


RESOLUTION __________________


A RESOLUTION recognizing the extensive efforts of the Central Area community to create the 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson) and Urban Design Framework (UDF), the commitment and efforts of the 23rd Avenue Action Community Team (23rd Avenue ACT), for taking the lead to implement Central Area community vision and priorities as reflected by these plans, and identifying actions of the City and its partners to work with the community to implement these plans.


WHEREAS, the Central Area is the historic home of the African American community in Seattle, and the 23rd & Union-Jackson Urban Village remains the heart of the African American community within the Central Area; and

WHEREAS, according to 2010 U.S. Census data, the Black/African American population within the 23rd & Union-Jackson Urban Village declined from 64 percent in 1990 to 28 percent in 2010, while the white population increased from 16 percent to 44 percent in the same time period; and

WHEREAS, the City acknowledges that African Americans residing in the Central Area have been impacted by structural and institutional racism, including redlining, restrictive covenants, and other discriminatory practices that led to racial segregation and current racial disparities in quality of outcomes such as access to quality education, living wage employment, healthy environment, affordable housing, and transportation; and

WHEREAS, the Central Area is a diverse and inclusive neighborhood with a rich history of civic engagement on matters affecting the Central Area; and

WHEREAS, the City of Seattle is committed to building strong partnerships with communities engaged in inclusive and innovative community planning, visionary neighborhood plans, and effective action plans; and

WHEREAS, in 1998, the City Council recognized the Central Area Neighborhood Plan; and

WHEREAS, in 2013 and 2014, the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD, previously the Department of Planning and Development) and Department of Neighborhoods (DON) conducted significant public outreach in the Central Area, including outreach to historically underrepresented communities with a focus on the community nodes along 23rd Avenue at Union, Cherry, and Jackson Streets; and

WHEREAS, in March 2013, the 23rd Avenue Action Community Team (ACT) was formed to work in partnership with the City and the community to hold the Central Area vision while balancing the different interests of the community; and

WHEREAS, the 23rd Avenue ACT consists of local leaders representing diverse backgrounds: over 50 percent are Black/African American, over 30 percent are small business owners, and over 50 percent are long-time Central Area residents who have worked together to oversee the creation and implementation of the 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson), the amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Central Area Neighborhood Planning Element, the Urban Design Framework (UDF), and proposed rezones; and

WHEREAS, under the 23rd Avenue ACT’s leadership, over 2,000 Central Area residents, business owners, and stakeholders have been engaged in 93 public workshops and meetings to create the 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson), the UDF, and proposed rezones for these three community nodes that reflect the vision of the Comprehensive Plan Central Area Neighborhood Planning Element; and

WHEREAS, on September 27, 2014, the 23rd Avenue ACT organized the first annual Central Area Block Party, at which over 1,000 diverse community members, including many who once called the Central Area home, met to celebrate a very successful planning effort and offer additional comments on the proposed 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson), UDF, and rezones; and

WHEREAS, this robust engagement process with the 23rd Avenue ACT and the broader community resulted in an Action Plan with five priorities: a destination with a unique identity, connected people and community, a great business community, livable streets for all, and a healthy and stable community. The Action Plan seeks to coordinate existing and anticipated public and private investments in the Central Area to achieve the community’s vision, and a UDF containing a broad set of recommendations to address community concerns and indicate and provide options for zoning changes in the neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, on April 28, 2014, and October 12, 2015, the City Council passed Ordinances 124458 and 124887 respectively, amending the Seattle Comprehensive Plan with updates to the Central Area Neighborhood Planning Element and the Future Land Use Map changes recommended in the 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson); and

WHEREAS, after four years as community leaders and stewards, the 23rd Avenue ACT continues to work with other community groups to transform the Action Plan from a vision into actions that advance the economic vitality, cultural legacy, and social equity of the Central Area; NOW, THEREFORE,


Section 1. The City acknowledges the 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson) and Urban Design Framework (UDF) as created in partnership between the community and the City, and identified as the latest versions are attached hereto as Exhibit A and Exhibit B, respectively. The City recognizes the tremendous effort and deep commitment of the Central Area community in creating and implementing these plans to achieve the community’s goals.

Section 2. The City recognizes the ongoing commitment and efforts of the 23rd Avenue ACT in taking the lead to implement the Action Plan and the overall Central Area community vision and priorities.

Section 3. The City recognizes that displacement in the Central Area has already occurred, resulting in the aforementioned demographic shifts and loss of Black-owned small businesses. The City further recognizes the potential for displacement as property in the Central Area continues to undergo public and private development and that implementation of the Mandatory Housing Affordability programs alone is not sufficient to fully meet the demand for affordable housing or to fully address displacement of vulnerable populations. As property values and rents increase citywide, the City is committed to:

A.                     Careful consideration of the racial and social justice impacts in decisions regarding public investments.

B.                     Developing additional strategies to address direct displacement, economic displacement, and cultural displacement.

C.                     Continued investment in the Equitable Development Initiative, which builds creative anti-displacement, community-driven solutions, and mitigates historic disinvestment. Furthermore, the Council will work with the Executive to provide options for establishing an ongoing funding source for investments through the Equitable Development Initiative in advance of the 2018 budget process.

Section 4. The City recognizes the importance of the Central Area as the historic home of the Black/African American community in Seattle and as a diverse and inclusive neighborhood with a variety of businesses, housing types, community organizations, and institutions. The City is committed to collaborating with Central Area residents and community organizations, including, but not limited to, the 23rd Avenue ACT, Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District, Central Area Collaborative, Africatown-Central District Preservation and Development Association, Africatown Community Land Trust, Black Community Impact Alliance, Centerstone and its Community of Practice participants, Central Area Land Use Review Committee, Central Area Chamber of Commerce, and the African American Veterans Group of Washington State, to take the following actions to manage growth and change in a manner that supports this rich history and furthers the community’s vision expressed in the 23rd Avenue Action Plan:

A.                     Continued engagement with the community and consideration of the 23rd Avenue Action Plan and the UDF to help inform future land use changes in the Central Area, including the upcoming citywide rezones to implement MHA.

B.                     The Council requests that the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) complete the work with the Central Area Design Guideline Coalition to:

1.                     Create neighborhood design guidelines for future development to reflect the Central Area’s history and cultural identity. Include guidelines that: (1) support the creation of spaces in the Central Area that are attractive to and functional for minority and locally owned businesses; and (2) promote public safety in the design of buildings and privately owned public open space;

2.                     Prepare recommendations for a new Central Area Design Review Board; and

3.                     Submit legislation for consideration that would enact these Land Use Code changes to the City Council by December 2017. If OPCD and SDCI are unable to deliver legislation by the end of 2017, the Council requests that OPCD and SDCI submit a status report at that time that identifies any outstanding issues that need to be resolved, and a timeline for completion.

C.                     Identify opportunities to build capacity among Central Area-based community organizations to take a leadership role in the development process and promote opportunities for community ownership and benefits in redevelopment projects in the Central Area. This includes, but is not limited to:

1.                     Continued support for community-driven projects, including to work in a timely manner to develop projects like the William Grose Cultural Innovation Center, in coordination with Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI), and consider opportunities to support capacity building among local community organizations to develop those projects through the EDI or other sources.

2.                      Actively encouraging opportunities for the re-use of City-owned property and/or City partnership and support for re-use of property owned by other public entities and neighborhood institutions for new affordable housing, affordable commercial/retail and non-profit community uses in the neighborhood. This includes opportunities to support community ownership models such as community land-trusts and recommendations for community ownership of City-owned property to support programs serving the Central Area, such as the Central Area Senior Center and Centerstone/Fire station 23.

3.                     Furthering the Office of Housing’s efforts to encourage proposals that use innovative financial or project delivery structures, such as projects that capitalize on partnerships between community-based organizations with local expertise and larger companies with development expertise, and that direct construction jobs and other economic opportunities to community-based firms and to low-income persons residing in the community where the project is located.

4.                     Working with residents and business owners of the Central Area to identify opportunities to coordinate with neighboring property owners, the local development community, and lending institutions to redevelop their property in a manner that allows them to build wealth and continue to live and/or operate businesses in the Central Area.

5.                     Working with community organizations and other government agencies to identify and implement services that support older adults aging in place in the Central Area, including programs that provide technical and financial assistance for property taxes and property maintenance, health care services, and accessible public transportation.

D.                     Continue to support existing repair and weatherization programs and pursue policies to provide assistance to homeowners with financial hardships that threaten their housing.

E.                     Work with local businesses, community organizations, and customers to promote economic development and commercial stability in order to establish and grow micro, small, local, and culturally relevant businesses in the Central Area as guided by the Central Area Commercial Revitalization Plan, the 23rd Avenue Action Plan and the Commercial Affordability Action Plan. Toward this goal, the Council will continue to support the Office of Economic Development’s work to provide and expand upon opportunities for financial and technical assistance to local businesses in the Central Area.

F.                     Continue to support the work of the Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District to preserve the African and African-American legacy in the Central Area and sustain and strengthen the physical identity and sense of place for cultural relevancy.

G.                     Maintain support for the efforts of the Office of Housing’s work with Central Area properties funded by the Office of Housing, participating in the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) and MHA programs to affirmatively market vacancies to Central Area residents who are at risk of displacement, and to community organizations with ties to former residents who would like to return to the Central Area, to promote fair access to City-supported housing.

H.                     Work with Africatown and other stakeholders to convene African American community organizations, educators, and local technology companies by November 2017 to identify new strategies, programs, collaborations and investments that provide accelerated training, internship and employment opportunities in the innovation economy and identify actions needed to pilot identified programs  in 2018, as well as exploring the potential formation of an Africatown Innovation District to connect Central Area and African American youth with innovation industry sectors.

Adopted by the City Council the ________ day of _________________________, 2017, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its adoption this ________ day of _________________________, 2017.


President ____________ of the City Council

The Mayor concurred the ________ day of _________________________, 2017.


Edward B. Murray, Mayor

Filed by me this ________ day of _________________________, 2017.


Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk



Exhibit A - 23rd Avenue Action Plan (Union-Cherry-Jackson)

Exhibit B - 23rd Avenue (Union-Cherry-Jackson) Urban Design Framework