Roosevelt to Downtown High Capacity Transit project
Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro are planning options for high capacity transit to connect Northgate and Maple Leaf to Downtown via Roosevelt and Eastlake. The project will feature Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) similar to the existing RapidRide buses that operate in their own lane or in mixed traffic.
View the Roosevelt to Downtown High-Capacity Transit Study presentation from the January 27, 2016 Maple Leaf Community Council meeting.
Housing Affordability and Livability Report and Seattle 2035
At the January 27, 2016 Maple Leaf Community Council meeting, representatives from the Office of Rob Johnson (District 4) presented about the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) in the context of the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan. View the presentation.
The Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year roadmap for growth in and around Seattle. The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) is a strategy for addressing the housing affordability crisis in Seattle. Commissioned by Mayor Murray and the City Council in September 2014, the 28-member committee has proposed 65 recommendations to consider.
Northgate Link light rail station project
Sound Transit’s Link light rail is coming to Northgate with a planned opening date in 2021. The next station north (Shoreline / NE 145th St.) is planned to open two years later in 2023. There are a number of issues affecting Maple Leaf connected with Link coming to Northgate.
For two years, Northgate will be the northern terminus of Link. This increases the likelihood people will drive to Northgate to ride Link to UW, Downtown, or points south. As those who visit the Northgate station currently are aware, there is a shortage of parking. Federal money accepted by Sound Transit requires a net increase of 1,000 spots in the area, but this can be accomplished in a number of ways. Minimizing the impact of parking overflow in and around the residences and businesses of NW Maple Leaf is one of our priorities.
Construction on the station and surrounding area will be ongoing through 2018 or 2019. While Sound Transit and the City of Seattle have made efforts to mitigate its effects, expect occasional lane and sidewalk closures, noise from construction and related vehicles, parking changes and restrictions, and night work if necessary.
More information from Sound Transit:
Land use surrounding new station
King County owns important parcels of land near the new station. They are looking to heavily develop these properties. The MLCC is advocating for a significant affordable housing component to these properties, particularly since private developer proposals north of Northgate currently remove hundreds of low-income units. King County has commission three market studies to help inform their decisions. Those are available here, here, and here.
Northgate Urban Center development
The Northgate area will see considerable new development as light rail comes to the northwestern corner of the Maple Leaf neighborhood. Thousands of new residents and dozens of new businesses are planned in both public and private developments. If this development is done thoughtfully, it will be an exciting complement to our neighborhood’s NW corner. If the development is done poorly, it will negatively affect livability and quality of life in the Maple Leaf neighborhood. It is vitally important you get involved and stay informed.
Please read the Maple Leaf Community Council’s comprehensive 2012 letter to area stakeholders concerning transportation changes and new development in the Northgate Urban Center.
Northgate Urban Center documents
- A map showing the Northgate Urban Center boundaries as well as different City of Seattle “study areas”.
- Northgate Neighborhood Plan (1993)
- Northgate Urban Design Framework (2013)
Property owners in the Northgate area are asking for significant new upzones so they can build bigger buildings than originally contemplated by current zoning. The developers propose to handle upzones individually through a Legislative Rezone. The Maple Leaf Community Council strongly disagrees (one of our letters on the subject). Instead, we agree with the Seattle Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) proposal to address all the upzones via a single Contract Upzone. The MLCC believes a contract rezone is the best way to accomplish a walkable, livable Northgate Urban Center.