Uptown: Framework for the Future

What's Happening Now?

The Uptown planning process was completed in 2019 with the adoption of new Neighborhood Design Guidelines. These guidelines will inform review of development proposals to advance the community's vision for the neighborhood expressed in the 2016 Uptown Design Framework and the zoning changes adopted by City Council in 2017.

The City Council approved the updated neighborhood design guidelines in February of 2019 and they became effective on March 24, 2019.

Project Benefits


  • Foster leadership and collaboration between the community, City staff, and other local organizations
  • Engage a broad constituency in the neighborhood, including traditionally underrepresented populations
  • Assess opportunities for improving connectivity around Uptown
  • Recommend opportunities for community improvements around ongoing planning and capital investment efforts in the area
  • Physical and cultural integration of Seattle Center with the surrounding neighborhood
  • Strategic organizing around business district health and development

As Uptown grows, we want to encourage:

  • Diversity in household type and affordability
  • Investment in the neighborhood
  • Support for local business year-round
  • Employment to bring people to the neighborhood during the day
  • Living and working without a car
  • A vibrant and safe public environment

The End Result

We will develop a collaborative vision of Uptown that describes how the physical development of the area can positively affect quality of life, recognizing the role that place-making and urban design play in creating a walkable, livable, healthy, and vibrant neighborhood.

Project Timeline

  • June 2014 
    First community design charrette (see the charrette notes)
  • September 2014
    Second community design charrette
  • November 2014
    Third (and final) community design charrette
  • October 2015
    Publish draft Urban Design Framework
    Public workshop for review and comment
  • December 2015
    Publish final Urban Design Framework
  • Spring 2016
    Release Draft Rezone Environmental Impact Statement
  • Fall 2016
    Release Final Rezone Environmental Impact Statement
    Release Draft Rezone Recommendation
  • September 2017
    Council adopts new Uptown Zoning and resolution
  • January 2018
    Work on Neighborhood Design Guidelines Update, Historic Resources Survey and Republican Street Streetscape Concept Plan begin
  • December 2018
    Sent updated Neighborhood Design Guidelines to City Council
  • February 2019
    Council Adopts updated Uptown Neighborhood Design Guidelines
  • March 2019
    Updated Uptown Neighborhood Design Guidelines become effective

Planning and Community Development

Rico Quirindongo, Director
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 94788, Seattle, WA, 98124-7088
Phone: (206) 386-1010

The Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) develops policies and plans for an equitable and sustainable future. We partner with neighborhoods, businesses, agencies and others to bring about positive change and coordinate investments for our Seattle communities.