Ahoy there — big changes may be coming to Seattle’s maritime and industrial regions. Mayor Bruce Harrell recently proposed updating sections of the city’s land use policy for the parts of the city that are used by shipping companies and manufacturers.
In doing so, the new plan aims to:
- Create 35,000 jobs over the next two decades
- Build 3,000 new homes in that same time frame
- Protect local companies
Here’s how a change to something like a zoning code can do all of that.
The mayor’s proposal would establish three new zones that refine how to use Seattle’s 7,000 acres of industrial land. Dividing things up like this hopes to make it easier for developers and local companies to plan for the future.
- Maritime, Manufacturing, and Logistics: This zone near ports and other large open swaths would prevent mini-storage and big-box stores from moving in — sorry, Costco. The idea here is to help local companies add more jobs knowing their space is secured.
- Industry and Innovation: Construction in this zone would include multi-story office buildings for research, design, and tech endeavor. The proposal encourages such development near light rail stations, restaurants, and retail businesses.
- Urban Industrial: This is a fancy term for smaller sites that would have lighter industrial uses like textile manufacturing. It would also have some spaces for artists to create.
As a part of the proposal, the city aims to build 3,000 homes on the edges of the Urban Industrial zone and in neighboring areas like Georgetown, South Park, and Ballard. Some of those homes would be planned for artists working in the zone, with hundreds of units in the affordable range.
The city council will take up the mayor’s proposal next month, with several council members already signaling their support. If a bill passes, the new zones would be applied to an updated code 90 days after the vote.