Pedestrian Retail Areas

Project Outcomes

The pedestrian retail areas (pedestrian zones) ordinance (Ordinance 124770) was adopted by the City Council on May 11, 2015, and signed by the Mayor on May 15, 2015. The ordinance went into effect on June 15, 2015.

The legislation amended the Land Use Code and the official Land Use Map to add or expand a pedestrian designation in 42 neighborhoods. It modifies the development standards that apply in pedestrian zones to meet the changing needs of these neighborhood business districts.

Key Milestones

  • We held over 40 community meetings to talk about our preliminary recommendations. The meetings took place between October 2013 and January 2015 
  • The pedestrian zone ordinance went into effect on June 15, 2015
  • On January 13, 2015 - changes about pedestrian retail areas (pedestrian zones), along with a Director's Report, sent to the City Council for consideration. The Council’s Planning Land Use and Sustainability (PLUS) Committees reviewed the proposal on these dates:
    • March 3, 2015 – First discussion in PLUS Committee
    • March 24, 2015 – Evening public hearing in Council chambers
    • April 7, 2015 – Discussion and issue identification in PLUS Committee
    • April 21, 2015 – Amendments and final discussion in PLUS Committee

Project Purpose

Our goals were to identify and map areas in neighborhoods around the city where residents could meet their daily needs. In pedestrian zones, we encourage people to park their car conveniently and walk from business to business if they choose to drive to a pedestrian retail area.

By adding a pedestrian retail area designation to a neighborhood commercial (NC) zone we aim to:

  • Preserve areas that offer a mix of street-level, pedestrian-oriented destinations accessible by foot, bike, and transit
  • Identify and encourage areas that have potential to transition to a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood business district
  • Encourage more walking, biking, and transit use to and within neighborhood business districts by preserving and promoting active destinations


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.