Comment period opens on proposed Capitol Hill design guidelines — UPDATE

An example of good pedestrian-level design on Capitol Hill from the new proposed design guidelines for the neighborhood (Image: City of Seattle)

New guidelines developed through a multi-year community process set to refresh the design of Capitol Hill development projects are up for public comment.

The Office of Planning and Community Development announced that the proposed neighborhood design guidelines for the Capitol Hill Urban Center Village have been determined to not require Environmental Impact Statement and that the comment period has begun, running through January 30th. The decision can also be appealed to the city’s Hearing Examiner.


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CHS reported here on the draft guidelines last spring. The original guidelines for the area were established in 2005, then revised in 2013 to reflect a larger, citywide update. In broad terms, the guidelines give developers an idea for how a building should look, and what sorts of amenities are important to the neighborhood. The Capitol Hill guidelines include the 397-acre area roughly bounded by I-5 to the west, a staggered eastern border that generally follows 15th and 16th avenues, north to Aloha and South to Olive, though there are a few appendages that stick outside those borders. The guidelines do not include the area that’s part of the Harvard-Belmont Historic District (that is dealt with by the Landmarks Preservation Board). Nor are the Seattle Central campus along Broadway or the Kaiser Permanente building on 15th included, each of those has their own master plan.

The new guidelines were in development for more than a year by a 14-member committee and were shaped to reflect major changes in the area including resources like Capitol Hill Station as the neighborhood sees increasing demand for new and more affordable housing.

UPDATE: We posted an old draft of the guidelines — the updated document is below. We have also requested an overview of changes.

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3 thoughts on “Comment period opens on proposed Capitol Hill design guidelines — UPDATE

  1. The draft you’ve posted is not the current draft, which is dated 1/17/19.

    The current draft has significant changes. For example, it says preservation of mature street trees is no longer strongly supported by the community, on p 8.

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