March 2024 Executive Director Note – The Seattle Comprehensive Plan Needs Your Help

I have a rule at Futurewise: don’t focus on Seattle. There are so many great places across the state where important planning decisions are being made. Many of those places and decisions get too little attention from the media and other advocacy groups. That’s why I’ve prioritized building our staff presence in Spokane, Port Angeles, Bellevue, and Everett and why we’ve taken on legal cases in Ferry, Okanogan, Benton, Franklin, and Grays Harbor Counties.

But today I’m breaking my rule. Two weeks ago, Mayor Harrell released his draft recommendation for the Seattle comprehensive plan, along with the draft environmental impact statement for the five growth strategy alternatives that the City has studied. The Mayor’s draft plan has some good stuff in it, but it could be so much better. If, as a state, we are going to solve our housing crisis and meaningfully address climate change, Seattle needs to do more. As the biggest city in the state, what Seattle does shapes growth patterns throughout the Puget Sound region and sets a bar that many other jurisdictions look to.

The good news is that the City can still change its course and you can help them do it. The values in the draft plan are excellent. The Mayor wants to expand housing opportunities across the city, promote equity and walkability, and meet the challenge of climate change. Now we just need the plan’s policy choices to more fully embody those values. Building new homes and businesses in every neighborhood is an idea that has grown increasingly popular over the past decade. Last September, the Seattle Metro Chamber found that 69% of Seattle residents “support building new housing in my neighborhood.” In order for the Mayor and the City Council to believe those poll results, we need that 69% majority to show up and make their voices heard.

Last year, Futurewise co-founded the Complete Communities Coalition, which brings together politically diverse stakeholders in Seattle to advocate for a comprehensive plan that includes more missing middle housing options throughout the city, more transit-oriented development opportunities, more walkable neighborhoods, and an end to the racial and economic segregation inherent in the city’s current urban village growth strategy.

If you care about these decisions, check out the Complete Communities Coalition website where you can sign up for the Coalition mailing list to stay on top of the latest developments and opportunities. Explore our Policy Priorities and start crafting your own message to the City. Plan to attend a Seattle comprehensive plan open house near you. We’ll be scheduling coffee chats before each open house so you can connect with like-minded people and get prepared before arriving at the official city event. We’ll send details about our upcoming coffee chats to the mailing list later this week.

Seattle has an opportunity to lead and it’s not too late to make it happen. Join us!

March 2024 Executive Director Note – The Seattle Comprehensive Plan Needs Your Help

I have a rule at Futurewise: don’t focus on Seattle. There are so many great places across the state where important planning decisions are being made. Many of those places and decisions get too little attention from the media and other advocacy groups. That’s why I’ve prioritized building our staff presence in Spokane, Port Angeles, Bellevue, and Everett and why we’ve taken on legal cases in Ferry, Okanogan, Benton, Franklin, and Grays Harbor Counties.

But today I’m breaking my rule. Two weeks ago, Mayor Harrell released his draft recommendation for the Seattle comprehensive plan, along with the draft environmental impact statement for the five growth strategy alternatives that the City has studied. The Mayor’s draft plan has some good stuff in it, but it could be so much better. If, as a state, we are going to solve our housing crisis and meaningfully address climate change, Seattle needs to do more. As the biggest city in the state, what Seattle does shapes growth patterns throughout the Puget Sound region and sets a bar that many other jurisdictions look to.

The good news is that the City can still change its course and you can help them do it. The values in the draft plan are excellent. The Mayor wants to expand housing opportunities across the city, promote equity and walkability, and meet the challenge of climate change. Now we just need the plan’s policy choices to more fully embody those values. Building new homes and businesses in every neighborhood is an idea that has grown increasingly popular over the past decade. Last September, the Seattle Metro Chamber found that 69% of Seattle residents “support building new housing in my neighborhood.” In order for the Mayor and the City Council to believe those poll results, we need that 69% majority to show up and make their voices heard.

Last year, Futurewise co-founded the Complete Communities Coalition, which brings together politically diverse stakeholders in Seattle to advocate for a comprehensive plan that includes more missing middle housing options throughout the city, more transit-oriented development opportunities, more walkable neighborhoods, and an end to the racial and economic segregation inherent in the city’s current urban village growth strategy.

If you care about these decisions, check out the Complete Communities Coalition website where you can sign up for the Coalition mailing list to stay on top of the latest developments and opportunities. Explore our Policy Priorities and start crafting your own message to the City. Plan to attend a Seattle comprehensive plan open house near you. We’ll be scheduling coffee chats before each open house so you can connect with like-minded people and get prepared before arriving at the official city event. We’ll send details about our upcoming coffee chats to the mailing list later this week.

Seattle has an opportunity to lead and it’s not too late to make it happen. Join us!

Meet Brooke Frickleton, Deputy Legal Director!

  Futurewise is thrilled to welcome Brooke Frickleton to our team as our new Deputy Legal Director! Brooke will be working with our long-time staff attorney, Director of Planning & Law Tim Trohimovich, on the upcoming comprehensive plan updates. Tell … Continue reading

Kate Brunette
April 22, 2024

March 2024 Executive Director Note – The Seattle Comprehensive Plan Needs Your Help

I have a rule at Futurewise: don’t focus on Seattle. There are so many great places across the state where important planning decisions are being made. Many of those places and decisions get too little attention from the media and … Continue reading

Marcella Buser
April 1, 2024