23rd Avenue Action Plan

  • Public Engagement
  • Public Review
  • Final Report
  • Council Process
  • Final Decision

What's Happening Now?

You told us how important affordable housing is in our community. We updated the urban design and rezone recommendations for the commercial cores at 23rd Ave and Union, Cherry, and Jackson to reflect the Mandatory Housing Affordability requirement to achieve greater affordable housing, recommended by the City's Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.

Central Area Neighborhood Design Guidelines

Seattle’s Central Area neighborhood is going through a phase of rapid growth. As new developments spring up around the area, impacts are felt most strongly by smaller businesses and residents who have long called the Central Area their home. The Central Area Design Guidelines Coalition (CADGC) is working to mitigate these impacts by teaming up with the City of Seattle, local architects Schemata Workshop, and Mimar Studio to outline a set of neighborhood specific guidelines to guide future development in the neighborhood. In addition, CADGC received an award from Congress for the New Urbanism to provide further technical assistance on this work.

Project Benefits

The purpose of this project is to establish a city-community collaboration that creates a shared vision and action plan to improve the health and equity of three Central Area community cores: 23rd Avenue and E. Union Street, 23rd Avenue and E. Cherry Street and 23rd Avenue and S. Jackson Street.

Our project will focus on these community cores to:

  • Strengthen the community’s resilience so that its rich cultural heritage and diversity flourishes
  • Build community, businesses, and organization’s capacity to take actions to achieve the shared vision
  • Create livable, healthy and supportive places that provide equitable access to resources and opportunities for everyone
  • Leverage public and private investments to create tangible, positive change that meets the needs of existing and new communities

The End Result

  • An action plan of key priorities shared by the community and the city as a result of the planning process
  • An Urban Design Framework that translates community visions and priorities into urban design recommendations and implementation steps
  • Strong partnerships among the community, private and public entities to move forward projects in the action plan

Get Involved

Take a look at our new Seattle Community Toolkit to find out how the City can help you, your neighborhood, or your business. There are programs, grants, loans, and a variety of other resources available. See if one is right for you.

We partnered with community stakeholders (residents, neighborhood associations, community organizations, business and property owners) to identify assets, issues, resources and opportunities in the three 23rd Avenue community cores.

Together with Community Liaisons and the Action Community Team we will continue to ensure an inclusive process where the community can identify specific strategies and projects that will support implementation of the Action Plan over the next several years.

Block Party

In 2017 the 23rd Ave Action Community Team (ACT) partnered with Central Area Community Festival to host the third annual Central Area Block Party at the Garfield Community Center. In addition to the activities and community resources, we shared the updated rezone recommendations and other plans and projects that the City and the community have been working on in the Central Area.

On September 27, 2014, the 23rd Ave ACT sponsored the first Central Area Block Party, and it was a huge success with almost 2,000 participants, great music and performance, local businesses, artists, food vendors, and great resources from City departments. It was great to see passionate residents and visitors enjoy the event and provide us with lots of comments on our urban design and rezoning recommendations. Community members strongly desire this to be an annual event. On September 12, 2015, the 23rd Ave ACT held the second Central Area Block Party. Check out our photos from 2014 and 2015.

Community Workshop/Open House

We have hosted a series of community meetings since early 2013 to seek community feedback and approval of the Action Plan, Urban Design Framework, and rezoning proposals. Please sign up for email updates to be notified of any project news.

Community Resource Fairs

These three Central Area community cores have active groups, individuals, and organizations already working to preserve and enhance the health, culture, and vitality of the neighborhood. Community resource fairs will be opportunities for them to showcase their work and services, and for you to connect with them.

Action Teams

Action Teams are hands-on work groups that will collaborate with the ACT and the City. Together, they will leverage resources and political will to take on projects that create lasting change. Like the ACT, Action Teams should be inclusive and represent the voices and balanced interests of the full Central Area community. Your priorities will set the Action Teams' work.

About the 23rd Avenue ACT

The 23rd Avenue ACT collaborates directly with us and the community to ensure that the vision and implementation actions reflect the voices and balanced interests of the community. In addition, the ACT works with the community to carry the 23rd Avenue Action Plan beyond this project — maintaining the shared vision, unity, and commitment needed to make the changes possible.

  • 23rd Avenue ACT Members:

    Adam Edwards
    Adrienne Bailey
    Alan Savitt
    Ann Suter
    Dan Sanchez
    Harlan Chinn
    Hugh Bangassar

    Ian Eisenberg
    Evelyn Allen
    Karen Estevenin
    Lois Martin
    Margo Jones
    Robert Stephens
    Shalimar Gonzales

    Our Commitment to Outreach & Engagement

    As part of the City's commitment to Inclusive Outreach and Engagement, we will use a number of approaches to make it easy for stakeholders to participate. This includes efforts to specifically reach historically underrepresented community members whose opinions may otherwise go unrecognized. In partnership with the community, the ACT, and Community Liaisons, we will work to include voices of our youth, seniors, the African / Black American community, immigrants and refugees, people living with disabilities, working families, and the Hispanic community.

    Project Documents

    Seattle Community Toolkit: A list of programs, grants, loans, and other resources the City of Seattle offers to help individuals, businesses, and communities.

    23rd Ave Action Plan

    Mandatory Housing Affordability Implementation - Adopted Plans and Legislations

    SEPA Draft

    Phase 4

    Phase 3

    Phase 2

    Phase 1

    State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination

    We have refined our action plans based on public input and are ready to move the rezone legislation forward. The rezones intend to achieve the community’s vision to strengthen the Central Area’s unique identity and community character as identified in the Action Plan and the Comprehensive Plan Central Area Neighborhood Planning Element. These actions will help create vibrant and resilient commercial districts that encourage pedestrian friendly mixed use development, support both existing and new businesses and development, provide opportunities for a variety of shops, services, and affordable housing that serves the diverse Central Area community.

    On June 29, 2015, we published the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination of Non-Significance for each node along with the Action Plan, Urban Design Framework, draft ordinances, and a Director's Report. The public comment period closed on July 20, 2015, and we will move the legislation forward in 2016-2017.

    SEPA Determination of Non-Significance

    SEPA Checklist

    SEPA Draft Ordinance

    SEPA Public Notice

    Director's Report

    Central Area Block Party

    2015 Block Party

    2014 Block Party


    Project Timeline


    Click on the image to view enlarged timeline.

    Winter – Fall 2013
    Action Plan Planning Process

    • Inclusive outreach and engagement including underrepresented communities
    • Sought community input
    • Developed draft Action Plan

    Fall 2013 – Fall 2014
    Action Plan Implementation Process Began
    Urban Design Framework (UDF) Process

    • Inclusive outreach and engagement including underrepresented communities
    • Sought community input
    • Developed draft UDF

    Fall 2014 – Summer 2015
    Zoning Recommendation Process

    • Inclusive outreach and engagement including underrepresented communities
    • Developed State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklists, draft ordinances, and Director’s Report for rezone recommendations
    • SEPA Determination of Non-Significance public comment period

    Council Approval Process

    • Finalize rezone ordinances, Action Plan and UDF
    • Public comment process
    • Public hearings for final recommendation

    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.