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The Downtown Livability initiative is a targeted review of specific regulations that guide downtown development and land use activity. The objectives of this work are to: better achieve the vision for downtown as a vibrant, mixed-use center; enhance the pedestrian environment; improve the area as a residential setting; enhance the identity and character of downtown neighborhoods; and incorporate elements from the Downtown Transportation Plan Update and the East Link design work currently underway.
In fall 2012, the City Council provided initial direction on specific downtown zoning and development regulations to be analyzed, including:
- Amenity incentive system;
- Building form and height;
- Design guidelines;
- Northeast Sixth Street pedestrian corridor;
- Light rail interface;
- Downtown parking;
- Vision for strip of land between 112th Avenue Northeast and Interstate 405 zoned for office limited-business (OLB);
- Downtown signage;
- Sidewalk widths and landscaping standards;
- Maintenance standards for vacant sites and buildings;
- Screening of mechanical equipment;
- Recycling and solid waste facilities;
- Vendor carts; and
- Range of permitted uses.
The public process for the Downtown Livability project will begin in late 2012, with a package of proposed changes to the land use code and design guidelines developed in 2013, and ultimate adoption in 2014. The project will have close coordination with the update to the Downtown Transportation Plan Update now underway.
The final product will include code amendments, finalized by City Council, that help create a more vibrant and dynamic Downtown with an enhanced pedestrian environment and distinct neighborhoods.