Envisioning Interbay

What's Happening Now?

Changes to the city’s policy about industrial land is part of Seattle's Comprehensive Plan. A Draft Plan with proposed policies was released for public discussion in July 2015. Some policy recommendations that came out of the Duwamish Manufacturing Industrial Center Policy and Land Use Study are being considered. These would affect land use in all manufacturing and industrial districts, including Interbay.

Changes proposed include:

  • Retain land in the Manufacturing/Industrial Centers for industrial uses and develop criteria for evaluating requests to remove land from manufacturing industrial centers
  • Limit the future application of Industrial Commercial (IC) zoning in manufacturing industrial centers

You can learn more about the active industries in Interbay by reading our study of production uses in selected area within manufacturing industrial centers. Our Industrial Lands Policy Discussion Summary and Recommendations report provides background information about the City's industrial land policies, summarizes a number of studies, and reports on the public outreach we conducted in late 2014 - early 2015.

If any rezoning for Interbay is needed, it would be proposed after the updated Comprehensive Plan is adopted in 2016. However, some property owners may request rezones through a contract rezone process.

Project Goals

We have initiated a land use study of the corridor along Elliott Avenue W and 15th Avenue NW in Interbay. Past development of this corridor has not followed a coherent plan. Recent retail, residential, and office developments are pushing up property values, which could potentially squeeze out industrial uses and jobs. Some property owners would like more flexibility to develop their property. Enhanced transit service is yet another reason to rethink the future of this area.

Our study, conducted with input from the community, will analyze existing conditions and explore options for future land use along this heavily traveled, multi-functional route. Our study will include proposed changes, if necessary, to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan or the land use code to support the vision. Goals for this project include:

  • Clarify the desired mix and balance of land uses, both industrial (manufacturing, warehousing, and services) and non-industrial (retail, housing, and office)
  • Assess how new transit investment might increase demand for new mixed-use (retail and residential buildings) development
  • Identify where streetscape improvements might be needed to support future development

The End Result

A clear vision that will help guide future development in the Elliott Avenue / 15th Avenue Corridor.

Study Documents

Phase 1 - Interbay

Existing Conditions Review

Interbay Preliminary Recommendations (April 29, 2013 at Q Cafe):

Working Groups

We have two working groups of diverse stakeholders. The working groups will provide us with information about the study area, and provide input on land use options and zoning proposals on how the corridor could be change in the future. See the list of working group members.

Interbay Working Group Meeting (April 3, 2013)

Interbay Working Group Meeting (March 8, 2013)

Interbay Working Group Meeting (February 13, 2013)

Interbay Working Group Meeting (January 9, 2013)

Interbay Working Group Meeting (December 5, 2012)

Introductory Working Group Meeting (Wednesday October 24, 2012)

Neighborhood Plans

Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Previous Zoning Studies

Citywide Projects and Studies

Real Estate Market

Transportation & Traffic

Topics of Interest

Reports on trends and other policy issues that will help inform our study.

  • The Insourcing Boom, December 2012, The Atlantic Monthly
    An exploration of the startling, sustainable, just-getting-started return of industry to the United States.
  • Population and demographics
    Explore population, housing, and job growth trends in Seattle and within the Ballard Urban Village.
  • The Third Industrial Revolution, April 21, 2012, The Economist
    As manufacturing goes digital, it will change out of all recognition, says Paul Markillie. And some of the business of making things will return to rich countries.
  • The Urban Manufacturing Alliance connects small business advocates, city governments, manufacturing associations, and urban industrial experts in cities across the U.S. to grow small manufacturers and create thousands of good jobs through innovative land use strategies, local branding, and sustainable product design.

Briefings for Community Organizations

  • Ballard District Council (May 2013)
  • Seattle Planning Commission (May 2013)
  • Magnolia Community Club (May 2013)
  • Interbay Working Group (April 2013)
  • Queen Anne Magnolia District Council (April 2013)
  • Queen Anne Community Council (April 2013)
  • Freight Advisory Board (April 2013)
  • Seattle Planning Commission (April 2013)
  • North Seattle Industrial Association (March 2013)
  • Seattle Planning Commission (January 2013)
  • Freight Advisory Board (November 2012)
  • North Seattle Industrial Association (October 2012)
  • Queen Anne / Magnolia District Council (October 2012)
  • Ballard District Council (September 2012)

April – September 2012: Project Scoping

October 2012 – April 2013: Phase 1 Interbay Analysis and Public Engagement

April 2013: Preliminary Recommendations and Community Meeting

May 2013 – March 2014: Phase 1 Interbay Recommendation and Legislative Process

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.