Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Community Development.

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The Department of Community Development administered the City's comprehensive plan and provided direction and support for the City's physical and economic development through community planning. DCD was established in 1969 and assumed the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission and the Urban Renewal Program. In 1972, the Office of Economic Development was created in the Department to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. DCD was the lead agency for implementing various types of grant funded projects, such as Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Development Program. DCD was abolished in 1992 and its programs were relocated in the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, Planning Department, and other agencies. DCD records include material from the City Planning Commission, Zoning Commission, Metropolitan Arts Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Urban Renewal Program.

From the guide to the Leschi Neighborhood Development Project Records, 1969-1989, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Fremont Neighborhood Improvement Project Records, 1972-1976, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Department of Community Development Siting Assistance Program Records, 1979-1991, 1989-1990, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Seattle Department of Community Development Architectural Services Records, 1977-1986, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Seattle Department of Community Development Neighborhood Technology Program Records, 1978-1983, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Rosemary Horwood Records, 1957-1971, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the University District Project Records, 1957-1988, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Neighborhood Development Project Applications, 1965-1974, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Seattle Department of Community Development Downtown Projects Records, 1970-1993, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Office of Environmental Management Records, 1968-1982, 1973-1975, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Bill Vivian Records, 1974-1979, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Building Department Joint Meeting Records, 1958-1976, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the South Park Neighborhood Development Project Records, 1966-1976, 1971-1974, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the North Greenwood Neighborhood Development Project Records, 1971-1979, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Seattle Department of Community Development Neighborhood Planning Records, 1966-1991, 1977-1988, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Seattle Department of Community Development Playground Project Records, 1976-1983, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Pike Place Project Hillclimb Corridor Records, 1975-1978, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Pike Place Market Records, 1894-1990, (Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the United States Postal Service Project Records, 1974-1983, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Department of Community Development Housing and Neighborhood Development Central Files, 1960-1979, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the University District Transportation Project Records, 1971-1982, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Seattle Housing Development Program Records, 1975-1987, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Coast Guard Property Development Records, 1978-1983, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Seattle Stadium Parking and Access Committee Records, 1975-1977, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

From the guide to the Richard McIver Records, 1971-1976, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The City Planning Commission was created in 1924 to prepare plans and gather data for urban planning and the physical development of the City, to advise City Council on current problems and long range planning, and to participate in administration and revision of the City's Zoning Ordinance. A Zoning Commission was created in 1920 to develop the City's first Zoning Code which was adopted in 1923.

The Planning Commission initially was comprised of 25 members, but in 1930, membership nine. Prior to 1946, funding for the Commission cam from the Engineering Department. A City Charter amendment in 1946 created and independent nine-member commission with fiscal autonomy. The Commission was given authority to hire employees as needed to carry out its planning and advisory functions. A Director of Planning was appointed in 1948 and, subsequently, work began on creation of the City's first Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1957. The Planning Commission also administered the Board of Adjustment which was created with adoption of the Comprehensive Plan.

The Planning Commission, along with the Urban Renewal Program, was absorbed by the Department of Community Development when the latter was established in 1969. In 1992, DCD was abolished and the Planning Commission became a self-contained entity. As an independent body, it advises Mayor, City Council, and City departments on planning policies and physical development plans and projects. It has 15 members who are Seattle residents and includes an engineer or architect, urban planner, ethnic minority members, and citizens active in neighborhood affairs.

John Spaeth was appointed as the full time director of planning in 1948. Spaeth hired a planning staff and worked with business leaders, neighborhood organizations, and civic groups to garner support for the idea of a Comprehensive Plan. In developing the Plan, Spaeth and his staff created the City's first neighborhood plans for those post-World War II areas that were expanding at a rapid rate. He also focused on planning for the Central Business District. Following development of the Comprehensive Plan, the City adopted a new Zoning Code based on the Plan. Spaeth retired from City service in 1971.

From the guide to the John D. Spaeth Planning Files, 1950-1969, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The Department of Community Development administered the City's comprehensive plan and provided direction and support for the City's physical and economic development through community planning. DCD was established in 1969 and assumed the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission and the Urban Renewal Program. In 1972, the Office of Economic Development was created in the Department to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. DCD was the lead agency for implementing various types of grant funded projects, such as Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Development Program. DCD was abolished in 1992 and its programs were relocated in the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, Planning Department, and other agencies. DCD records include material from the City Planning Commission, Zoning Commission, Metropolitan Arts Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Urban Renewal Program.

Origin

Founded in 1907, Pike Place Market was a city-sponsored experiment to help reduce the high cost of local produce. It was created as a means for local farmers to sell directly to shoppers, without benefit of middlemen who were suspected of inflating prices. An immediate success, it thereafter became a permanent fixture in the vicinity of Pike Place and First Avenue.

The two original ordinances passed regarding the Market effectively determined its method of operation. In the establishing ordinance, the City vested direct responsibility in the Street Department, which painted stall spaces on the planked street surface of Pike Place and assigned a police officer to allot spaces. A second ordinance passed in November 1907 instituted one of the basic rules of market operations. It required that sales in the market be limited to food and food products "raised, produced or manufactured by the person offering the same for sale."

Growth

As the Market grew some changes were made to accommodate the farmer/sellers. In 1911 for example the City constructed sheds in the sidewalk right-of-way on Pike Place as an "inside" market for "dry stall" sellers, i.e. sellers who did not need to sprinkle or wash their goods.

The success of the public market attracted private investment and a number of new buildings were constructed between 1907 and 1927. Several privately sponsored markets and related businesses also opened during this period and competition began to develop for the farmers' loyalties.

A shift in the location of the farmers' carts in 1923 from the public street to a privately-owned arcade along the street became a defining moment in the history of the Market. The City's right to space in the market was challenged. From that point on, by mutual agreement, the City leased the privately-owned arcade and rented it on a daily basis to farmers.

In the first two decades of its existence, farmers sold a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and dairy products. They also sold meat and poultry, which by ordinance had to be butchered and dressed off the premises. Fish, home-preserved pickles and relishes, baked goods, and flowers were also staples of the market. By 1925 more than 600 farmer/sellers were regularly selling on weekends and the number of shoppers averaged 25,000 on weekdays and 50,000 on Saturdays. The Market continued to flourish through the decade of the thirties despite the Great Depression.

Multicultural Atmosphere

From its beginning, the Market's atmosphere as a cultural crossroads substantially contributed to its success and resilience. The mix of shoppers (local, national, international, and from every socioeconomic level) helped create this ambiance. Also contributing heavily to the multicultural atmosphere, at least initially, was the racial and ethnic diversity of the farmers. Many were immigrants who tended to settle in enclaves and engaged in similar agricultural pursuits. For example, most Japanese farmers lived in the Kent Valley and owned truck farms and fruit orchards. Italian farmers concentrated in Georgetown and South Park where they cultivated vegetables. Scandinavian ranchers settled on the Olympic Peninsula and in Island communities. They raised cows and chickens and sold poultry, eggs, milk and butter in the Market.

Economic Decline

After World War II, the economics of local farming changed. Factors contributing to this change included mechanization, home refrigeration, expansion of the frozen food industry, and an improved highway system (which encouraged long-haul trucking). By 1957 the Market was in steep decline, operating with less than 60 licensed farmers. Decreased public transit service to the area, proliferation of supermarket chains, and suburban real estate development contributed to a steady decline in shoppers.

Physical Decline

Located on prime real estate at the western edge of Seattle's central business district overlooking Elliott Bay, properties continued to appreciate in assessed value despite their condition. Eighty percent of the buildings in the Market district dated from the 1930s or earlier and displayed visible signs of deterioration. Properties damaged by fire or earthquakes were left vacant or only partially rehabilitated. Landlords had little incentive to make needed improvements to their buildings. Lending institutions were reluctant to make substantial loans for rehabilitation or new development, fearing that any new project would be surrounded by blight. With little or no maintenance, many buildings slipped below the standards established in local building and health codes.

Areas adjacent to the Market also changed markedly. Panhandlers and alcoholics became a significant presence on the streets. Prostitution flourished, with hotels in the vicinity catering to this trade. Vendors of pornographic literature, second-hand stores, and thrift shops contributed to the general atmosphere of decline.

Development Proposals in the 1950s

The economic and physical deterioration of the Market spurred several development proposals. The most detailed was one developed by Harlan H. Edwards in 1950. A consulting engineer and member of the City Planning Commission, he proposed assembling property between Pike and Stewart. The project would consist of a 2,000 car garage below the level of First Avenue with a city park constructed on the top deck. A farmers market would be housed on the two decks below the park.

All such proposals foundered when property assembly was attempted. Divergent property ownership and resale restrictions made this aspect of any project too difficult to sustain developer interest.

Urban Renewal Proposal

After decades of decline and neglect, the Pike Place marketing district was a blighted area scheduled for demolition and redevelopment. As early as 1964, a citizen's group known as Friends of the Market had organized to save it. Only the City of Seattle had authority (under its urban renewal powers) to condemn, prepare a redevelopment plan, replat with new streets and other utilities, and make the property available for private redevelopment.

In 1965 the City Council authorized application for urban renewal funds. Four years later, the City had completed an urban renewal plan for the Pike Place Project which called for the rehabilitation of a 1.7-acre market core within an overall 22-acre project. The Department of Community Development (DCD) was formed to take the lead responsibility in planning this project.

Community Activism and Rehabilitation

Market supporters mounted a strong campaign of opposition to razing and developing the land. Friends of the Market collected 53,000 signatures for an initiative to save the market which would create "...a Pike Place Market historical district and a market Historical Commission with the purpose of preserving, restoring and improving buildings and continuance of uses within said district, and providing that no structure within said district shall be erected, altered, extended, reconstructed, used or occupied except pursuant to a Certificate of Approval authorized by the commission..."

City Council refused to accept the measure and chose instead to put it on the November 1971 ballot. A second group, the Alliance for a Living Market, emerged to help pass the ballot measure. Voters passed the initiative to save the market by 60 % and overturned the urban renewal plan.

The initiative set aside a 7-acre Historical District in the heart of the 22-acre urban renewal project area. It also established a twelve-member Historical Commission to oversee all development and uses within the district.

The DCD set aside the original plan and started over. One of its first acts was to create the DCD Pike Project office in the Spring of 1972. The DCD Pike Project had primary responsibility for developing a new urban renewal plan for the Pike Place marketing district, and administering and managing its implementation. In June 1973, the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) was chartered by the City of Seattle to "undertake the renewal, rehabilitation, preservation, restoration and development of structures and open space in the Pike Place Historical District and surrounding areas in a manner that affords a continuing opportunity for Market farmers, merchants, residents, shoppers and visitors to carry on in their traditional activities."

A Memorandum of Understanding executed in 1975 between the PDA and the DCD specifically delineated the responsibilities of each agency. In particular, it assigned to the PDA the rehabilitation responsibility for the Livingston/Baker, Soames/Dunn Seed, Triangle, Corner Market and Main Market buildings in the historical district.

The PDA continues its activities, serving as landlord and manager for 80 percent of the properties within the Market Historical District. The DCD Pike Project Office, however, ceased operations in 1980. The Department of Community Development completed the Pike Place Market "Promenade 23 Project" in 1982 and continued to oversee fiscal matters until the Department was abolished in 1992.

From the guide to the Pike Place Market Visual Images and Audiotapes, 1894-1984, (Seattle Municipal Archives)

In 1957, the Washington State Legislature adopted a "Urban Renewal Act" enabling cities of Washington to take action to prevent, arrest, and eliminate blight. After the US Housing Act of 1959 authorized the Housing and Home Finance Administration within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to make grants to localities for the preparation of Community Renewal Programs, Seattle formed a Community Renewal Program Committee. The federal Community Renewal Programs were designed to assist cities in the development of long-range comprehensive plans for city-wide renewal, inventorying existing "blight" both residential and non-residential, assessment of public facilities, streets, schools, parks and playgrounds, and libraries, and to assess the urban renewal treatment needed to "recapture, or create anew the good environment."

Seattle City Council authorized an application for the federal Community Renewal Program (CRP) in 1962 (Ordinance 91682) and the contract between Housing and Home Finance Agency and the City of Seattle was signed January 25, 1963. The CRP number was Wash. R-12 (CR). The total amount was for $201,491, of which federal monies constituted $134,329 (or two third of the total amount) and $67,162 was made up by City appropriations and contributed staff services. Subcontracts were let for economic studies, field surveys, and statistical work, as well as for analyzing 1960 census data. Although the Planning commission suggested the administration of the grant be transferred to their office, it remained in the Urban Renewal Office within the Executive Department until 1969 when entire Urban Renewal Division was transferred to the newly created Department of Community Development.

The goal of the Community Renewal Program was to conduct a two-year study to develop a 10-year urban renewal program with an emphasis on community rehabilitation. Specifically the study was focused on: understanding "blight" in Seattle, which included: determining the role of private enterprise, and analyzing the potential re-use of land. Other goals included: learning what public efforts are needed, reviewing codes and ordinances relating to urban renewal; and establishing priorities for urban renewal projects in Seattle. The CRP was renewed as a support function for the Model Cities project in 1969.

Frank McChesney was hired in 1962 as project director for the Community Renewal Program; he was previously in charge of Pittsburgh's CRP. He was promoted to Senior Urban Renewal Planner in 1963. Other individuals hired as Urban Renewal Planners included Assistant Community Renewal Planner Tom Bay, Junior Community Renewal Planners William Wallace, Edward Shaw, and King Katz.

The City contracted with the University of Washington for electronic data processing and various other consultants for other pieces of the grant. Other public agencies participating in the CRP included various City departments : building, Engineering, Health, Parks, Fire, Police, the City Planning Commission, the Seattle housing Authority, The Seattle School District, the Puget Sound Regional Planning council, the Port authority and the Puget Sound Regional Transportation Study.

Other urban renewal projects in the 1960s included: Yesler-Atlantic, University-Northlake, South Seattle, and the Pike Place Market.

From the guide to the Community Renewal Program Records, 1959-1971, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The Department of Community Development administered the City's comprehensive plan and provided direction and support for the City's physical and economic development through community planning. DCD was established in 1969 and assumed the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission and the Urban Renewal Program. In 1972, the Office of Economic Development was created in the Department to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. DCD was the lead agency for implementing various types of grant funded projects, such as Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Development Program. DCD was abolished in 1992 and its programs were relocated in the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, Planning Department, and other agencies. DCD records include material from the City Planning Commission, Zoning Commission, Metropolitan Arts Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Urban Renewal Program.

Unity 71 was a Model Cities project that was operated by DCD in an effort to rehabilitate and revitalize a small area in the East Model Neighborhood by drawing upon existing City, State and Federal resources rather than creating new service agencies. The project area was bounded by Yesler Way on the south, 17th/18th Avenues on the west, 20th/21st Avenues on the east, and East Fir/Alder Streets on the north.

Unity 71 began in 1969 as a program called "Postage Stamp" intending to "physically and socially" rehabilitate a small residential area in the Model Neighborhood. In 1971, over $1 million in Model Cities funds was authorized for Unity 71, which would attempt to "eliminate physical and environmental blight symptoms" in the chosen area. The Unity 71 fund would finance property purchases, rehabilitation of existing structures, and administrative work for the project. The new DCD positions of Urban Renewal Project Manager, Assistant Urban Renewal Project Manager, and Secretary would implement the project.

An important aspect of the project was its dependence upon the resources of existing agencies to renew a neighborhood by "using innovative procedures and methods." Some of these agencies and programs included the Seattle Model Cities Program, Seattle Urban League, City of Seattle, and Seattle Housing Authority, among many others. Some goals of the project included assisting homeowners in rehabilitation, eliminating "environmental deficiencies and blighting influences," adding housing and community facilities, and improving public utilities and transportation.

From the guide to the Unity 71 Project Records, 1970-1972, (Seattle Municipal Archives)

The City Planning Commission was created by ordinance in 1924 and was first included in the City Charter in 1946. The Commission’s role was to prepare plans and gather data for the development of the City, to advise City Council on current problems and long range planning, and to participate in administration of the City’s Zoning Ordinance. It was provided with the authority to hire as needed to carry out its planning and advisory functions. However, the Planning Commission’s decisions needed to be passed by ordinance before they became effective.

Between 1924 and 1974, the Commission’s membership was changed periodically by ordinance. It varied in size from 9 to 25 members. The composition of the Commission also varied but always consisted of a percentage of the following: Mayoral appointees, ex-officio members from various government departments, as well as representatives elected by various government agencies.

With the creation of the Department of Community Development in 1969, the Commission became a part of the Department of Community Development. For the purpose of having a more broad-based membership, in 1974 the Commission membership was changed to be comprised of 15 Seattle citizens, appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council. If at all possible, the citizens would come from different neighborhoods and a variety of disciplines would be represented.

Due to reorganizations in city government, the Planning Commission became a part of the Office of Policy Planning in 1974 then was returned to the Department of Community Development in 1979. In 1980, an independent office of the Planning Commission was established. The Planning Commission would no longer review site-specific land use applications and permits. Its city planning functions were transferred to the Department of Community Development.

From the guide to the Rezoning Records, 1955-1975, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The Department of Community Development administered the City's comprehensive plan and provided direction and support for the City's physical and economic development through community planning. DCD was established in 1969 and assumed the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission and the Urban Renewal Program. In 1972, the Office of Economic Development was created in the Department to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. DCD was the lead agency for implementing various types of grant funded projects, such as Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Development Program. DCD was abolished in 1992 and its programs were relocated in the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, Planning Department, and other agencies.

Community Development Block Grants, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were first issued to Seattle in 1975. The Department of Community Development, and later the Human Services Department, administer the program and distribute Seattle's grant funds to the city agencies and community-based social service organizations that carry out the projects. Block grant programs in the city are concentrated in low income neighborhoods and focus on housing rehabilitation; extension of human services such as child care, nutrition, victim advocacy, medical services, and employment and training; and neighborhood improvement through economic development.

From the guide to the Community Development Block Grant Project Records, 1971-1988, 1975-1988, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The Department of Community Development administered the City's comprehensive plan and provided direction and support for the City's physical and economic development through community planning. DCD was established in 1969 and assumed the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission and the Urban Renewal Program. In 1972, the Office of Economic Development was created in the Department to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. DCD was the lead agency for implementing various types of grant funded projects, such as Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Development Program. DCD was abolished in 1992 and its programs were relocated in the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, Planning Department, and other agencies.

Community Development Block Grants, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were first issued to Seattle in 1975. The Department of Community Development, and later the Human Services Department, administer the program and distribute Seattle's grant funds to the city agencies and community-based social service organizations that carry out the projects. Block grant programs in the city are concentrated in low income neighborhoods and focus on housing rehabilitation; extension of human services such as child care, nutrition, victim advocacy, medical services, and employment and training; and neighborhood improvement through economic development.

From the guide to the Community Development Block Grant Administration Records, 1975-1989, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The Department of Community Development administered the City's comprehensive plan and provided direction and support for the City's physical and economic development through community planning. DCD was established in 1969 and assumed the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission and the Urban Renewal Program. In 1972, the Office of Economic Development was created in the Department to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. DCD was the lead agency for implementing various types of grant funded projects, such as the Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Development Program. DCD was abolished in 1992 and its programs were relocated in the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, Planning Department, and other agencies. DCD records include material from the City Planning Commission, Zoning Commission, Metropolitan Arts Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Urban Renewal Program.

The City Planning Commission was created in 1924 to prepare plans and gather data for the development of the City, to advise City Council on current problems and long range planning, and to participate in administration of the City's Zoning Ordinance. An independent nine-member commission was established with adoption of a new City Charter in 1946. It was provided with authority to hire as needed to carry out its planning and advisory functions. The Planning Commission also administered the Board of Adjustment following its creation in 1957.

The city planning process was reorganized in 1980 and the Commission's planning function was transferred to the Department of Community Development. The current Commission is an advisory agency that reviews development plans and reports to the Mayor and City Council. It is composed of 15 members, all of whom must be Seattle citizens.

In 1959, a City ordinance designated the area "bounded by Yesler Way, Empire Way South, Lake Way, Rainier Avenue South, and 14th Avenue South" a "blighted area" and proposed an urban renewal project -- the 340-acre Yesler-Atlantic Neighborhood Improvement Project -- which would fund "rehabilitation, redevelopment, or a combination thereof" with federal dollars. The City was authorized to apply for $89,200 to fund plans and surveys of the area; this figure was later amended to $137,854. A $2 million capital grant was requested to demolish decaying structures and construct and install "streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds...public buildings or facilities..."; displaced families would be relocated.

In 1959, when the federal government expressed concern about the costs of funding the entire project, the area to be improved was divided into two sections (the Yesler-Atlantic "U" and the "T," so named for the shape of the areas covered). The 137-acre "T" was selected as the first to undergo development because a large non-cash grant would accrue from the construction of the New Washington Junior High School in the "T" area. Survey and planning of the area began in 1960.

In 1966, a new plan for the Yesler-Atlantic neighborhood was approved; structural inspections and an economic feasibility study were carried out, and a new project plan was created. A public hearing was scheduled for discussion of the new plan, and some property owners petitioned to have the hearing delayed on the grounds that the City Council had not made known the special procedures that applied to urban renewal hearings. Although their request was denied, the resulting litigation would delay the start of the project until 1968. In 1968, the project received HUD approval. By 1973, 42 homes had been rehabilitated, new complexes had been constructed, and a new park had been completed.

From the guide to the Yesler-Atlantic Parcel Appraisals, 1961-1985, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The Department of Community Development administered the City's comprehensive plan and provided direction and support for the City's physical and economic development through community planning. DCD was established in 1969 and assumed the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission and the Urban Renewal Program. In 1972, the Office of Economic Development was created in the Department to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. DCD was the lead agency for implementing various types of grant funded projects, such as Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Development Program. DCD was abolished in 1992 and its programs were relocated in the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, Planning Department, and other agencies. DCD records include material from the City Planning Commission, Zoning Commission, Metropolitan Arts Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Urban Renewal Program.

The Urban Renewal Program was authorized by Ordinance in 1957 and the first Federal funds allocated for neighborhood studies were received in 1959. The program was designed to eradicate urban "blighted areas" in the City. It was initially administered by the Executive Department, and then transferred to the Department of Community Development in 1969. Conventional urban renewal funding was designated for four neighborhoods: Yesler-Atlantic, University-Northlake, South Seattle, and Pike Place Market. In addition, Neighborhood Development Program funds targeted Leschi, South Park, and North Greenwood. Despite the early identification of neighborhoods and the adoption of urban renewal plans, most projects did not get underway until the mid to late 1960s.

From the guide to the Northlake Urban Renewal Project Records, 1964-1977, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

In 1957, the Washington State Legislature adopted the "Urban Renewal Act" enabling Washington cities to take action to prevent, arrest, and eliminate blight. After the federal Housing Act of 1959 authorized the Housing and Home Finance Administration (a division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development) to make grants to localities for the preparation of Community Renewal Programs, Seattle formed a Community Renewal Program Committee. The federal Community Renewal Programs were designed to assist cities in the development of long-range comprehensive plans for city-wide renewal; inventorying existing "blight" both residential and non-residential; assessment of public facilities, streets, schools, parks and playgrounds, and libraries; and to determine the urban renewal treatment needed to "recapture, or create anew the good environment."

The Seattle Urban Renewal Program was authorized by ordinance in 1957, and the first federal funds allocated for neighborhood studies were received in 1959. The program was designed to eradicate urban "blighted areas" in the City. It was initially administered by the Executive Department, and then transferred to the Department of Community Development in 1969. Conventional urban renewal funding was designated for four neighborhoods: Yesler-Atlantic, University-Northlake, South Seattle, and Pike Place Market. In addition, Neighborhood Development Program funds targeted Leschi, South Park, and North Greenwood. Despite the early identification of neighborhoods and the adoption of urban renewal plans, most projects did not get underway until the mid- to late 1960s.

John P. Willison (known as Jack) was director of the Urban Renewal Division from 1963 to 1969. Before coming to Seattle, Willison was director of the urban renewal program in Columbus, Ohio. After the transfer of the Urban Renewal Division to the Department of Community Development, Willison's title changed to Development Operations Director. He was preceded by Talbot Wegg, Urban Renewal Coordinator. Wegg left in 1963 to join a private engineering consulting firm. The Urban Renewal Division was responsible for the development and administration of designated areas for various types of redevelopment, as well as the relocation of area residents who were required to move to make way for improvements.

From the guide to the John P. Willison Records, 1959-1971, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The Department of Community Development administered the City's comprehensive plan and provided direction and support for the City's physical and economic development through community planning. DCD was established in 1969 and assumed the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission and the Urban Renewal Program. In 1972, the Office of Economic Development was created in the Department to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. DCD was the lead agency for implementing various types of grant funded projects, such as Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Development Program. DCD was abolished in 1992 and its programs were relocated in the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, Planning Department, and other agencies.

Community Development Block Grants, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were first issued to Seattle in 1975. The Department of Community Development, and later the Human Services Department, administer the program and distribute Seattle's grant funds to the city agencies and community-based social service organizations that carry out the projects. Block grant programs in the city are concentrated in low income neighborhoods and focus on housing rehabilitation; extension of human services such as child care, nutrition, victim advocacy, medical services, and employment and training; and neighborhood improvement through economic development.

From the guide to the Community Development Block Grant Grantee Performance Reports, 1976-1987, (City of Seattle Seattle Municipal Archives)

The Department of Community Development (DCD) was established in 1969, assuming the responsibilities of the City Planning Commission staff and the Urban Renewal Program, previously a division of the Executive Department. Throughout its existence, DCD administered the City’s comprehensive planning and provided direction and support for the City’s physical and economic development through community planning. The Department was the City agency responsible for coordinating public and private efforts toward physical redevelopment and renewal in both residential and business districts. This work was based on the social, economic, and physical needs of the target community or district.

A very large portion of the DCD budget was realized from federal funds. This reliance on federal grants significantly impacted DCD's operational focus as certain types of federal funding dried up and other funding programs emerged. The administration of the Seattle Model City Program was moved to DCD in 1970, but funding ended in 1974. All but one of the City's Urban Renewal projects were closed out in 1977. And at about the same time, the Community Development Block Grant program, a federal pass-through program, was established. Other federal funding programs included the Neighborhood Improvement Program, Targeted Neighborhood Assistance Program, Neighborhood Development Program, and Urban Development Action Grants.

These changes in funding impacted the DCD's priorities and also led to several departmental reorganizations in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1972, the Department added economic development to its responsibilities in response to an economic decline in Seattle that had begun in the late 1960s. The focus was to provide information to businesses that were expanding or relocating in Seattle. At this point, DCD was managing planning and implementation of complex projects that had interdepartmental implications, such as development of the Central Waterfront, Freeway Park, Westlake Mall, Pike Place Market renewal, and the huge renewal projects in the Yesler/Atlantic, Northlake, and South Seattle neighborhoods.

In 1974, a Mayor's task force report recommended separating policy planning from development planning and implementation. While policy work went to the newly created Office of Policy Planning, DCD's focus turned to development and operational planning with added renewal projects in the Denny Regrade and International District, among others. With the addition of Community Development Block Grant funding, as well as other federal programs, DCD grew considerably in the late 1970s.

However, with the advent of President Ronald Reagan's administration, federal funding for Seattle was curtailed. In 1982, DCD's budget was cut by twenty percent and remained flat for the next three years. In 1986, following passage of the City's Housing Levy, the Department added a new function, administering the construction of new moderate to low income housing units. In addition, DCD was the lead agency working with the University of Washington in the late 1980s to promote Seattle, nationally and internationally, as a technology center.

Mayor Norm Rice, whose first term began in 1990, reorganized the City's housing, human services, economic development, and planning functions. DCD was abolished in 1992. Its programs were relocated in several City agencies, including the newly organized Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Housing and Human Services, and Planning Department.

From the guide to the Director's Records, 1970-1991, 1976-1991, (Seattle Municipal Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Northlake Urban Renewal Project Records, 1964-1977 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Seattle Department of Community Development Architectural Services Records, 1977-1986 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Seattle Housing Development Program Records, 1975-1987 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Community Development Block Grant Administration Records, 1975-1989 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Special Projects Records, 1974-1998 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Fremont Neighborhood Improvement Project Records, 1972-1976 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Pike Place Market Records, 1894-1990 Seattle Municipal Archives
referencedIn Seattle Engineering Department Unrecorded Subject Files, 1890-1990 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Department of Community Development Annual Reports, 1973-1988 Seattle Municipal Archives
creatorOf Richard McIver Records, 1971-1976 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Wesley C. (Wes) Uhlman Mayoral Records, 1956-1978, 1970-1977 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Coast Guard Property Development Records, 1978-1983 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Community Renewal Program Records, 1959-1971 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Building Department Joint Meeting Records, 1958-1976 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Townhouse Proposal Records, 1977-1980 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf United States Postal Service Project Records, 1974-1983 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Unity 71 Project Records, 1970-1972 Seattle Municipal Archives
creatorOf Department of Community Development Housing and Neighborhood Development Central Files, 1960-1979 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Bill Vivian Records, 1974-1979 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf John D. Spaeth Planning Files, 1950-1969 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Community Development Block Grant Grantee Performance Reports, 1976-1987 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Planned Unit Development Applications, 1963-1978 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Rezoning Records, 1955-1975 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Friends of the Market (Seattle, Wash.). Friends of the Market scrapbooks, 1911-1976 (bulk 1962-1976). University of Washington Libraries
creatorOf Office of Environmental Management Records, 1968-1982, 1973-1975 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Neighborhood Development Project Applications, 1965-1974 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf North Greenwood Neighborhood Development Project Records, 1971-1979 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Seattle Department of Community Development Neighborhood Planning Records, 1966-1991, 1977-1988 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf South Park Neighborhood Development Project Records, 1966-1976, 1971-1974 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Seattle Stadium Parking and Access Committee Records, 1975-1977 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Rosemary Horwood Records, 1957-1971 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Pike Place Project Hillclimb Corridor Records, 1975-1978 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf University District Transportation Project Records, 1971-1982 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Seattle Community Development Block Grant Grantee Performance Reports, 1988-1999 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Seattle Department of Community Development Playground Project Records, 1976-1983 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Yesler-Atlantic Neighborhood Improvement Project Subject Files, 1961-1977 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn South Lake Union Planning Records, 1970-1989 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Director's Records, 1970-1991, 1976-1991 Seattle Municipal Archives
creatorOf Community Development Block Grant Project Records, 1971-1988, 1975-1988 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Seattle Department of Community Development Downtown Projects Records, 1970-1993 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf University District Project Records, 1957-1988 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Pike Place Market Visual Images and Audiotapes, 1894-1984 Seattle Municipal Archives
creatorOf Department of Community Development Siting Assistance Program Records, 1979-1991, 1989-1990 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Yesler-Atlantic Parcel Appraisals, 1961-1985 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Seattle Department of Community Development Neighborhood Technology Program Records, 1978-1983 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf John P. Willison Records, 1959-1971 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
creatorOf Leschi Neighborhood Development Project Records, 1969-1989 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
referencedIn Seattle Community Development Block Grant Administration Records, 1974-2000 City of Seattle SeattleMunicipal Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Braman, James D’Orma, 1901-1980 person
associatedWith Central Area Motivation Program (Seattle, Wash.) corporateBody
associatedWith City Planning Commission corporateBody
associatedWith Department of Community Development corporateBody
associatedWith Dupont-Johnson, Linda person
associatedWith Friends of the Market (Seattle, Wash.) corporateBody
associatedWith Grothaus, Darel person
associatedWith Hornell, James person
associatedWith Horwood, Rosemary person
associatedWith King County (Wash.) corporateBody
associatedWith McChesney, Frank person
associatedWith McIver, Richard person
associatedWith Moseley, David person
associatedWith Mosier, Dean person
associatedWith Mt. Baker Central Youth Service Bureau corporateBody
associatedWith Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle corporateBody
associatedWith Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) corporateBody
associatedWith Pike Place Market (Seattle, Wash.) corporateBody
associatedWith Port of Seattle corporateBody
associatedWith Revelle, Randy person
associatedWith Schell, Paul, 1937- person
associatedWith Seattle Housing Authority corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle Planning Commission corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle Tilth Association corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.). Building Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.). City Clerk corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.) Department of Community Development corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Neighborhoods corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.). Engineering Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.). Human Services Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.). Mayor corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.). Office of Management and Budget corporateBody
associatedWith Seattle (Wash.). Urban Renewal Program corporateBody
associatedWith Southeast Effective Development (Organization) corporateBody
associatedWith Spaeth, John D. person
associatedWith Sun, Evelyn person
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Model Cities Administration corporateBody
associatedWith United States Postal Service corporateBody
associatedWith Unity 71 Project (Seattle, Wash.) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Washington corporateBody
associatedWith Vivian, Bill person
associatedWith Willison, John P. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Seattle (Wash.)
Subject
Denny Regrade (Seattle, Wash.)
Housing rehabilitation--Seattle (Wash.)
City planning--Washington--Seattle
Stadiums--Washington (State)--Seattle
Health care--Washington (State)--Seattle
Compost--Washington--Seattle
Markets--Washington (State)--Seattle
Urban development--Washington (State)--Seattle
Georgetown (Seattle, Wash.)
Low-income housing--Seattle (Wash.)
Urban renewal--Washington (State)--Seattle
South Park (Seattle, Wash.)
City traffic--Washington--Seattle
Transportation--Planning--Washington (State)--Seattle
African Americans
Community development--Washington (State)--Seattle
Interstate 90
Leschi (Seattle, Wash.)
Economic development--Washington (State)--Seattle
Neighborhood planning--Washington--Seattle
South Seattle (Wash.)
Business, Industry, and Labor
Markets--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
Community development, Urban--Seattle (Wash.)
Fremont (Seattle, Wash.)
Post office buildings--Washington (State)--Seattle
City halls--Washington (State)--Seattle
Central business districts--Washington (State)--Seattle
Urban agriculture--Washington--Seattle
Historic districts--Washington--Seattle
International District (Seattle, Wash.)
Zoning--Washington (State)--Seattle
SoDo (Seattle, Wash.)
Surplus military property--Washington (State)--Seattle
Playgrounds--Washington--Seattle
City and Town Life
Pike Place Market (Seattle, Wash.)
Seattle
Photographs
Solar energy--Washington--Seattle
Municipal ordinances--Washington (State)--Seattle
Youth Services for--Washington (State)--Seattle
Transportation
Environmental management--Washington (State)--Seattle
Rainier Valley (Seattle, Wash.)
Shelters for the homeless--Washington (State)--Seattle
Agriculture
Housing--Washington (State)--Seattle
Block grants--Washington--Seattle
Automobile parking--Washington (State)--Seattle
Traffic congestion--Washington (State)--Seattle
Delridge (Seattle, Wash.)
Lake Union Steam Plant (Seattle, Wash.)
Neighborhood planning--Washington (State)--Seattle
Veterans Services for United States
Home improvement--Washington--Seattle
Surplus government property--Washington (State)--Seattle
Land use, Urban--Washington (State)--Seattle
Kingdome (Seattle, Wash.)
Parks and Playgrounds
Architecture
Low-income housing--Washington (State)--Seattle
Civic improvement--Washington (State)--Seattle
Zoning law--Washington (State)--Seattle
Social services--Washington (State)--Seattle
Yesler--Atlantic Neighborhood Improvement Project (Seattle, Wash.)
Historic preservation--Washington (State)--Seattle
Greenwood (Seattle, Wash.)
City planning
Housing rehabilitation--Washington (State)--Seattle
Community Development Block Grant Program (Seattle, Wash.)
University District (Seattle, Wash.)
City planning--Washington (State)--Seattle
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

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