But will Seattle stop acting like it before it’s too late?
With the Covid-19 crisis dragging on, and the climate crisis setting us up for an extended smoke event — it’s almost possible to forget that the housing crisis never abated. This, despite declaring an emergency back in 2015. Fortunately, thanks to legislation passed in 2019 by the City Council, the City of Seattle was obligated to review the Comprehensive Plan (CP) with the race and equity toolkit. While the city has not released a full report based on these findings, the Office of Planning and Community Development has released a staff report summarizing the study’s initial findings.
This staff report is the start for public outreach on what will eventually be the next major comprehensive plan update. However, we’ve been down this road before: Seattle has published a number of comprehensive plans going back to 1994, each one promising a glorious progressive future, only to run into the same problems, many of which trace back to the original CP of 1994. To understand why, we have to go back to the history of this plan.