Ballard Urban Design Framework open house set for Thursday

After hearing from the community at May’s Urban Design Framework Open House, the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth is hosting another event to hear local feedback on their initial strategies. The Open House event is set for this Thursday, November 6, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW).

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.

After the public meeting last spring, the Partnership reported that the following issues were of most importance to the Ballardites who attended:

  • The community loves Ballard’s historic qualities and its tradition of industry.
  • Many in the community appreciate the growth of shops and restaurants in a beautiful, walkable neighborhood.
  • Many community members are concerned that a number of recent high-density projects being built in the area do not contribute to Ballard’s character.
  • Community members are worried about affordability and that transportation improvements have not kept pace with growth.

After the initial open house the Ballard Partnership took the feedback on board and “have been working to define responses to the community input on the character of growth in Ballard’s core business areas,” says DPD Planner David Goldberg.

Thursday’s Open House will focus on the character of development, streetscapes, and open space within Ballard’s core.

At the event the Ballard Partnership will be looking to receive comments on their initial strategies to better guide development, addressing the bulk and character of new projects, streetscape design, and public/private open space. The feedback given from the community will then help shape the Partnership’s final proposals.

“We want to hear all of Ballard’s ideas about the future,” says Goldberg.

The Ballard Partnership is tackling many topics that are important to the neighborhood and this past year received an $85,000 grant from the City’s Only in Seattle program. They identified the following areas that the City is addressing through the year-long UDF project:

  • Character of Development: Ballard is booming. What should the mix and character of development be as the Ballard core grows?
  • Improve Connections: Metro introduced Rapid Ride and in mid-2014 Sound Transit completed their Ballard to Downtown Seattle Transit Expansion Study Final Report. What types of transportation connections are needed to support growth, and what are the opportunities and challenges presented by the potential high capacity transit stations?
  • Expand Economic Opportunity: The local business community, neighborhood groups, and non-profits have mobilized to form the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth with the mission to encourage investment and identify strategies to augment Ballard’s commercial core. How can the City grow and diversify to expand economic opportunity?
  • Sustain Health: The primary goal of this collaboration is to foster an environment that supports the health and access to opportunity for a diverse community. What specific actions should we take to increase access to resources such as affordable housing, employment, and safe public spaces.

If you are unable to attend Thursday’s Open House, feedback can be given online via the project website.

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