Large crowd attends Ballard Urban Design Open House

dpd2The DPD’s Ballard Urban Design Open House had a large turnout last Wednesday evening at Ballard Library.

The event was well attended by a wide variety of Ballard community members, including representatives from Ballard Chamber of Commerce, local businesses owners, local non-profit leaders and neighborhood residents, who came together to discuss the future of our neighborhood.

The interactive open house included presentations by DPD Senior Planner David Goldberg and Executive Director of Ballard Chamber of Commerce Mike Stewart, who put the event into context in the bigger plan for the future of Ballard.

“This meeting is to touch base, make sure we fully understand the issues out there in the community and set the direction for our work going forward,” Goldberg said to attendees at the event.


The open house included interactive activities centered around critical issues important to the future of Ballard. Attendees had the opportunity to voice their opinion about these issues using stickers and post it notes (see image on right and below).

Many locals attended the open house to express their thoughts on a variety of issues including development, the homeless population and the future of Ballard office space.

“I am here to present my thoughts on the issue of development,” said long time Ballard resident Pam Cole. “I am in favor of thoughtful density in our neighborhood but at the moment it has gone over the top. This meeting may be too late,” she continued.

Ballard resident of three years, Craig Shumate, also expressed concern in relation to development and focused in particular on problems with the current zoning laws. “Over development of Ballard is resulting in a loss of diversity. Zoning laws are a big problem and the appeals processes for developments need to be well ventilated and transparent,” said Shumate.


Many attendees agreed that the open house was an effective and interactive way of gathering the thoughts and opinions of the local residents.

“I love that the DPD are considering things such as access to cultural food and the future of Ballard in relation to the high capacity transit study. The open house is very interactive,” said Ballard resident Caelen Ball.

Goldberg from the DPD was very happy with the turnout at the open house and encourages all who haven’t yet had input to do so online. “The website will be up for another two weeks to ensure that all community members have a chance to give their opinion,” said Goldberg.

If you have not submitted your thoughts check out the ways you can get involved in the online discussion below:

  • Visit the Imagine Seattle website.
  • Give input on a number of topics from open space to housing affordability in Ballard.
  • Share your ideas through social media using the hashtag #planballard.
  • Complete a one-time survey and contribute your thoughts.

7 comments on “Large crowd attends Ballard Urban Design Open House”

  1. > See upcoming events in our Ballard calendar <

  2. THIS IS ALL ASHOW BY THE DPD! They listen to the developers because they fund the politicians. Ballard is a lost cause with much of what we all love long gone. I welcome new people to the hood that is what creates commerce and jobs for families but the Traffic and the lack of planning for how to handle it is a failure. We cannot all ride bikes ! Meanwhile they continue to cram more and more people into the hood and the worst of it is yet to come. keep up the fight but i fear it is too late.

  3. “Over development of Ballard is resulting in a loss of diversity. Zoning laws are a big problem and the appeals processes for developments need to be well ventilated and transparent,” said Shumate

    Well-ventilated? Does the appeals process really need more windows and fans?

  4. I miss old Ballard, where the streets were lined with bars and brothels. Where a man could get a weeks supply of snoose, for neigh a ha’penny!

  5. ven·ti·late
    cause air to enter and circulate freely in (a room, building, etc.).
    “ventilate the greenhouse well”
    discuss or examine (an opinion, issue, complaint, etc.) in public.
    “he used the club to ventilate an ongoing complaint”

    The absense of any realistic and comprehensive discussion about maintaining efficient transit choices was disconcerting for those of us who depend on transit for work commuting in and out of Ballard. Considering that Metro heard about ZERO public comment last fall when formulating what is possibly a massive service cut to our area (read their report), wake up folks. I doubt that Uber will be of much help and Rapid Ride is already less than optimal (I am being polite, it’s a cattle car serving only the 15th corridor)

  7. Redeveling neighborhoods with old homes or storefront retail is a necessary. However, the relaxed zoning rules permiting lots of new buildings over 5 stories is shutting out the sky and giving us canyons. The developers are getting the benefit of the re-zone attempted by the (failed) Monorail project. They do not care about the long term results for the residents.

    The previous 3-4 limitations provided enough density to support transit and stores and would keep the character of the neighborhoods.

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