Your opinions wanted for Neighborhood Plan Update survey

A neighbor at the Beacon Hill Festival, thinking about how to prioritize Neighborhood Plan ideas. Photo by Jason.
(By Frederica Merrell, with some added text by Wendi.)

138 people voted on a Neighborhood Plan Update actions and strategies survey at the Beacon Hill Festival on Saturday. If you couldn’t attend the festival, have no fear—click this link to take the survey online. (This is a different survey than the one we posted about several weeks ago.)

The purpose of this survey is to ask North Beacon Hill neighbors and non-residents to rate their support for elements of our 2011 Neighborhood Plan update. In the survey, you are asked to indicate your level of support or agreement for various strategies to be included in the plan. (Some examples of the strategies that are included in the survey: “Create affordable rental and home ownership housing targets for the Beacon Hill Urban Village and periodically evaluate progress,” and “Create the Town Center campus on Beacon Avenue between McClellan and 15th, by calming and redirecting traffic flow, extending the festival street, and creating bus/bike lanes and activated alleys.”) The proposed plan update will be edited based on your input. Questions or comments? Send them to

This plan update is proposed by neighborhood volunteers, with ideas that come from neighborhood groups and individuals. It incorporates the work done by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) in 2009 and the comments they collected. Look for future reports on the survey results here on the Beacon Hill Blog.

Our neighborhood plan

The 1999 North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan has been a highly successful document because neighbors and City of Seattle departments implemented significant improvements for our community over the ten-year planning period. It was built on the shoulders of the 1993 North Beacon Hill Action Plan, our first neighborhood plan and one of the first residential neighborhood plans in the City. The 1993 Action Plan was supported by extensive study of housing trends, demographics, and conditions in the North Beacon Hill neighborhood.

Neighborhood plans are updated in response to changing conditions. Conditions have changed in the community, and the world at large. The 2011 North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan recognizes new conditions and strives to help residents thrive under new economics, ecological strains and demographic changes. We acknowledge the significant role played by City of Seattle in spurring our neighborhood to complete an update of our plan by 2011. This update is made possible through the guidance and assistance of the Department of Planning and Development, Department of Neighborhoods, City Council and staff, Department of Transportation, Parks Department, Seattle Planning Commission, and the Mayor’s office.

In addition to North Beacon Hill residents, business owners and their clients, and the City of Seattle, members of the following neighborhood groups and organizations participated in shaping our plan update:

  • North Beacon Hill Community Council
  • Duwamish District Council
  • El Centro de la Raza
  • Jefferson Park Alliance and Friends of the Jefferson Park Food Forest
  • Seattle Youth Soccer
  • Beacon BIKES Planning Committee
  • Columbia City Bikeworks
  • Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
  • Cascade Bike Club
  • Feet First
  • Beacon Hill Merchants’ Association
  • Beacon ARTS
  • ROCKiT Space
  • Denise Louie Early Education Center
  • Friends of 2010 Parks Opportunity Fund projects:
    • North Beacon Central Park
    • Lewis Park
    • 17th and Hill Park
    • 12th Avenue Viewpark
    • Jose Marti Playground
  • Beacon Hill Elementary School
  • Mercer Middle School
  • Kimball Elementary School
  • Veterans’ Administration Hospital
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • King County Public Health
  • Sustainable South Seattle
  • Georgetown Farmer’s Market

For more information about the Plan Update or the survey, please contact

11 thoughts on “Your opinions wanted for Neighborhood Plan Update survey”

  1. Is it intentional that in many sections on the survey it’s only possible to choose any level of support once? For example in section 8, which asks for opinions on 29 proposal, survey takers can only rate five of them, because they can only choose each value (“Strongly Support, Generally Support, etc.) once per section.

  2. Does this survey ultimately carry any weight? It seems like a manipulated attempt to validate individual pet projects. Including, but not exclusive to, Jefferson Park Food Forest, “Central Park” at the light rail block and El Centro mixed use development.

  3. In particular, the zoning questions seem one sided. NC-85 or higher wasn’t even an option. I am aware that there are mixed feelings in the community on height limits but including a zoning (NC-55) that doesn’t actually exist while leaving out the higher ones seems designed to produce a predetermined result.

  4. Thanks for posting the survey, but I agree with Patrick and Yvonne. It seems like this survey is a little one-sided. Personally I think the Central Park project is a bad idea. The only way we are going to see investments from current business owners is to see some new commercial spaces with more options. We already have parks close by and I don’t think many people would use the Central Park (except for additional loitering). We should encourage local business growth to promote a more inviting commercial zone.

  5. I STRONGLY agree with Yvonne, Patrick and Sebastian. Whether people would use a central park is irrelavant. You don’t make a huge capital investment like Light Rail and then down-zone around the station… especially in a neighborhood with a historically underpreforming retail core! Vibrant retail businesses put the pedestrians in pedestrian oriented neighborhoods. Why would we want to gut what will eventually be our neighborhood center?

  6. The NC-55 option actually did exist, or at least it did through most of the recent planning process. I think it was NC-50, though, and I had heard it referred to as NC-40+ with the intent of adding one floor of height to the NC-40 zoning. It made sense to include that in the survey, but I suppose it also makes sense to include the higher zone that was presented in some of the DPD info, if the intent was to truly judge opinion of all of the options. However, I don’t recall that option in the DPD survey either, so maybe at this point it really isn’t an option at all.

    Regarding Yvonne’s comment, I think most of those pet projects have some traction. Most have passed the screening step for the Parks opportunity fund, indicating that they may be considered reasonable projects if a different funding source is found and may therefore be candidates for inclusion in the Neighborhood Plan. That is why I would say treat everything on that survey as possible and provide your honest opinion. It will certainly be interesting to see the results.

  7. I enjoyed taking the survey, but wouldn’t want to see the future of the neighborhood based on its results. As far as I can tell there’s no methodology being used to determine statistical accuracy or prevent ballot box stuffing, so it’s another platform for the vocal minority, including me. Ending not with a “thank you for taking a survey” message, but with a message which to me seemed to imply that it would be foolish to not just agree with the views of people with an established track record made it clear this was a sort of campaign tool, even if any bias in the question format was unintentional.

    Frankly, I just want to see people with time and dedication quit talking and get past the obsession on concurrency and such. The neighborhood should be positioned so that maybe this time as the economy (slowly) improves it will better support the small business owners that make for a vibrant retail core. For all the much-touted success of the past neighborhood plan, there hasn’t been that much substantial change in the business district since I first got to know Beacon Hill in the early 90s, and it’s pretty clear that in many ways the hill never came back from the Boeing Bust of the 70s. There have been a lot of economic cycles since then and it seems like Beacon HIll (and the SE District in general) talks (often loudly) through the up times instead of taking advantage of them. I’d love to see more attention on lining up funding sources and support for business owners than on turning historically income-producing properties into parks. It makes sense to backfill Detroit with open space. If it seems to make sense to do it in Seattle then there’s something really broken here.

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