Rainier Beach

Rainier Beach Area Rezones to Support Affordable Housing

We are proposing to rezone a group of lots on Rainier Ave. S. with the goal of supporting future development of affordable housing and community uses. On May 21, 2020 we published a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review of the proposed zoning changes.

Project Goals & Benefits

In 2012, the culturally and ethnically diverse Rainier Beach community created a vision to guide the future of their neighborhood:

Rainier Beach is rich with cultural and physical resources. It has a thriving and interconnected community that contains a rich mix of households including minority and immigrant residents. The community is supported by strong social and cultural institutions and services that provide stability during changing times. The neighborhood provides access to resources necessary for people to live a healthful life. The neighborhood’s parks, opens spaces, roads, and other physical assets are in good condition and provide for a healthy community.

The Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update will help make the community’s vision a reality. Rainier Beach will become:

  • A place for everyone
  • A place for lifelong learning
  • A place for growing food to develop healthy industry
  • A beautiful, safe place

The community envisions a future where Rainier Beach mixes education into community life at all levels, and for all residents. As a result, the residents will be empowered to make sustainable and beneficial changes in their community.

The End Result

  • Neighborhood Plan Update — A plan to document the community’s vision for an enjoyable, affordable, and prosperous community, and the strategies for achieving it (completed March 2012)
  • Comprehensive Plan Amendments — Goals and policies, future land use map for Rainier Beach amended via Council Bill no. 117697 / Ordinance No. 124177 (passed May 2013)
  • Rainier Beach Action Coalition — A community partnership to implement recommendations and monitor progress of the plan (meets monthly)
  • Resolution No. 31710 adopted by City Council on September 26, 2016 and signed by Mayor on September 29, 2016

Rainier Beach Food Innovation District

Neighborhood Plan Update Documents

Rainier Valley South: Fulfilling the Promise

Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Neighborhood Capacity Project Reports

The following reports identify ways to implement the updated Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan. The reports take into consideration the Rainier Beach organizations, how they can work together implementing the updated plan, what skills and resources are needed, and what funding could be sought to support the work.

Lessons learned:

Moving forward:

Resource building:

In 2010, the Mayor and City Council updated the 1999 Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan. Rainier Beach has a new light rail station, library, and school but some community members thought the area hadn’t changed enough.

For the 2012 Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update, the City and community reviewed the strengths of the original plan. We used that assessment to confirm goals that are still relevant and added new goals where they were needed. That work set the stage for us to create a shared work plan to accomplish the community’s vision for Rainier Beach.

Throughout the neighborhood plan update, a diverse range of people were engaged in community-wide events. We held over a dozen meetings to get input and feedback from the area’s historically underrepresented community members, including immigrants, refugees, youth, seniors, communities of color, and people living with disabilities.


  • Neighborhood Plan update and Action Plan completed in 2012
  • Rainier Beach Moving Forward was awarded a $5,000 Seattle Foundation Neighbor to Neighbor grant
  • Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetland was awarded a $5,000 Seattle Foundation Neighbor to Neighbor grant
  • Rainier Beach was awarded a $978,000 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Grant to design and implement crime reductions based on the Neighborhood Plan recommendations (2012)
  • Seattle Healthy Living Assessment Tool was awarded the American Planning Association National Planning Achievement Award for a Best Practice (2013)
  • In March 2015, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Rose Center for Public Leadership conducted a study visit in Rainier Beach and provided findings in a public presentation. In addition, the ULI Center for Sustainable Leadership conducted a study visit in May 2015 in collaboration with the ULI Rose Center.
  • Rainier Beach Action Coalition awarded a $75,000 "Fresh, Local & Equitable" grant by the Kresge Foundation (2016)
  • Rainier Beach: A Safe Beautiful Place for Youth (ABSPY) core team awarded a $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Justice to advance restorative justice in schools (2016)
  • Rainier Beach Action Coalition is part of a Rainier Valley Coalition, along with On Board Othello, the Multi-Cultural Center, South Communities Organizing for Racial Regional Equity, and the Regional Equity Network, awarded a Communities of Opportunity grant of $150,000 each year for 3-5 years (2016)
  • Rainier Beach Action Coalition awarded a $200,000 Fresh, Local & Equitable implementation grant from the Kresge Foundation (2017) that will support work on community farm stands, a healthy food campaign and the Food Innovation Center.
  • Rainier Beach Open Space Steering Committee awarded a $50,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund with a $50,000 match from the Seattle Parks Foundation to propose design improvements for Beer Sheva Park (2017)

Related Resources

March 2011: Community Issues Identification workshop

June 2011: Priorities and Preliminary Strategies workshop

January – August 2011: Meetings with ethnic, cultural and age-specific groups

October 2011: Community Open House — Draft Goals and Recommendations

March 2012:

  • Neighborhood Plan Update completed
  • Community develops its action plan
  • Making Rainier Beach Great! — A Call to Action workshop

April 2012: Rainier Beach Moving Forward formed

November 2012: Rainier Beach Station Area Urban Design Open House

January 2013: City Council Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan Amendment for Rainier Beach

May 2013: City Council approved Comprehensive Plan Amendments for Rainier Beach

March 2015: Urban Land Institute Rose Center for Public Leadership study visit

May 2015: Urban Land Institute Center for Sustainable Leadership study visit

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.