University District and UW issues

Eastlake is adjacent to the University District and the University of Washington, so what happens there can deeply Eastlake. The Eastlake Community Council is monitoring two planning processes that could vastly expand both the University District and the UW. Please attend ECC’s public meetingon both topics–Tues., Sept. 20, 7-9 p.m. at the Pocock Rowing Center, 3320 Fuhrman Avenue East (in column at right, see the page on upcoming events). ECC welcomes your thoughts on what position it should take on these important decisions. Please contact us at info@eastlakeseattle.org.

Mayor’s proposals for huge height and density increases in the U District. On Sept. 12, 2016, Mayor Murray proposed a vast upzone for parts of the University District. If adopted by the City Council, the zoning changes would allow some properties to build as high as 320 feet high (eighteen stories, as high as the UW Tower (formerly Safeco Tower), and on some other as high as 240 feet. For the Mayor’s September 2016 proposals, click here. For other background, see articles in the Seattle Times on Dec. 24, 2015 and on Sept. 13, 2016.

UW Campus Master Plan. The University of Washington is accepting public input regarding what should go into its upcoming draft for a Campus Master Plan (CMP). Development is largely completed that was called for by the Seattle Campus Master Plan, which was adopted by the Seattle City Council in 2003. The new Campus Master Plan is expected to be adopted by the City Council in 2018. For UW’s background on the planning process, see its web site http://pm.uw.edu/campus-master-plan. For some early UW proposals from a February 2016 open house, click here.

The UW anticipates projected growth in student enrollment of 15% and a commensurate growth in faculty. UW says that to accommodate this growth, it will need to build about 6 million square feet of new buildings. This magnitude of growth could involve the City Council in controversial height and bulk increases similar to the Mayor’s proposals for private land (see above), and thus far beyond the scale of the current campus. This level development that could spread into the surrounding neighborhoods, including Eastlake; it will cause large increases in traffic and in the use of parking by people affiliated with the University.

The Eastlake Community Council has a seat on the City University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC), an official City advisory body that was created about 40 years ago under a joint agreement with the City of Seattle and the University of Washington. CUCAC advises UW and the City on the impacts of the University on the City, especially insofar as there are impacts on the neighborhoods and business districts like Eastlake that are near the main campus. ECC welcomes your questions and suggestions for positions that it should take in the Campus Master Plan process (see address above).

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