City partners with community to plan urban design framework for Ballard

There is no doubt that, over the past decade, Ballard has seen some significant change. Our neighborhood has, as we all know, become denser and has increased in population with younger people and families.

According to The Department of Planning and Development, despite the change in the job market, job growth has not kept up with the rate of population growth.

The DPD is partnering with community organizations such as Ballard Chamber of Commerce and the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth to come up with a coordinated and strategic planning effort to address the changes in our neighborhood and to create a vision that will steer future urban development in Ballard.

Over the past year DPD and SDOT have been coordinating with the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth as they discover the issues faced and opportunities presented by the growth in our neighborhood. Through this collaboration, the City has begun work on an Urban Design Framework (UDF) for Ballard.

“It will be a collaborative vision and recommendation for urban design, land use, transportation and other strategies that will guide future development while ensuring Ballard’s people and places thrive,” says DPD Planner David Goldberg.

At this stage, the UDF will focus on the shaded area in the map below (click for bigger image).


“We’ll look at a larger area to understand the context, but the focus of work is on where we are likely to see continued development and change in the coming years,” says Goldberg.

Click here to learn more about the project from Scott Ingham, co-chair of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, during his interview on KUOW radio last week.

The City is set to host an open house to share more information about the project and to give locals a chance to give their feedback. The event will be held on Wednesday, May 7, at Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend and give their feedback.

In anticipation of the open house, an Imagine Seattle website has also been created to get local feedback on a series of issues that are important to the growth of Ballard.

Each week the site will provide facts about Ballard and prompt locals for their thoughts and feedback. All who are interested are encouraged to register on the website to receive weekly updates about the conversations.

Locals who are keen to give feedback but who are not interested in registering on the website can complete a one-time survey to contribute their thoughts.

“Whether online or at a meeting, the City and Ballard Partnership hope to encourage a respectful and productive exchange among neighbors – we want to hear all of Ballard’s ideas about the future,” says Goldberg.

The My Ballard team will keep readers informed about developments in the project and ways to give their feedback.

11 comments on “City partners with community to plan urban design framework for Ballard”

  1. oh boy. I wonder what sort of stupidity they’ll have up their sleeves? water park at the commons for the bums? (w/ soap added to kill two birds with one stone). maybe add 10,000 new apartments with 120 parking spaces? be sure that any new development is soul-less and box like?

  2. “The DPD is partnering with community organizations such as Ballard Chamber of Commerce ”
    If they really want to improve the area, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce would see to finishing the missing link of the Burke Gilman trail, rather than fighting it tooth and nail.
    For years, the BCoC has done nothing to make this area safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.
    I will continue to boycott all their silly events until I see some action in the right direction

  3. How about actually delivering the transit that was promised to us in exchange for upzoning? Or how about creating some commercial zones in Ballard to actually bring jobs to Ballard?

  4. @Misty

    So because the Ballard Chamber of Commerce isn’t doing what you want, you’re not going to show up and tell them what you want them to do. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable conclusion.

  5. Oh, believe me, I have told them.
    I am referring to Ballard Seafood-fest and other lame activities they sponsor throughout the year.
    Maybe you’re right though and I should start picketing their events like the Lockhaven folks.

  6. The dpd and the sdot have completely sold ballard down the river and are now saying they want the communities input, what BS! They continue to run out the clock and allow massive development with little parking and sky high prices. This city is developer driven with no regard for our quality of life. It is now so crowded and people are fighting over parking spaces, and dodging all the new meter maids. And it will only get worse as their is no realistic plan for moving people except buses and they say they are cutting back that! I am all for bike safety, but lets get real bike transportation moves a very tiny percentage of people to and from work.

  7. @Misty That’s the beauty of the Seafood Festival, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to!

  8. Ballard must be terrible, so many people keep coming here.

    Will someone think about the poor cars?

  9. John, You’d be surprised at how many people actually bike commute. It’s enough that they’d have a significant traffic impact as car drivers instead.
    I do agree that getting all these new residents to and from work has sure seemed like an afterthought. I’m not opposed to having more people in the neighborhood, but like you I think there needs to be much greater consideration of how all of us are now going to get around.

  10. It always surprises me how much power people think the city has. Metro (King County) operates the buses – talk to them about bus service. And make sure you vote for it next time it’s on the ballot. There is a ton of commercial zoning in Ballard – but I personally agree – more jobs would be good for Ballard. I agree we need more affordable housing, but the City doesn’t set the prices for housing or apartments unless it provides money. The whole parking thing baffles me. Maybe one person on my block parks their car in their garage, but almost all of them would complain if someone built housing in downtown Ballard withouot providing parking. I’ve even heard someone who lives in an older apartment that didn’t provide parking complain about the lack of parking in new development. But hey, let’s make sure all these greedy developers solve the problems we who have been living here for decades created.
    I’m going to the meeting. Did anyone read their report on the website? It’s great.

  11. So, reading this last comment, I’m curious — Is “Salmon Bay Dave” in fact David Goldberg the lead DPD Planner for this endeavor, who mentioned at a recent Ballard District Council meeting that he lived by Salmon Bay Park?

    If not, I appreciate the parody in the above comment, which seems like it could really only have been written by a DPD employee.

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