The planning for Yesler Terrace formally began in April 2006 when Seattle Housing Authority hired staff to manage the planning effort and begin recruiting members of a Citizen Review Comittee. The first meeting of the Citizen Review Committee, chaired by former Mayor Norman B. Rice, took place on October 25, 2006.

The Seattle Housing Board of Commissioners approved Guiding Principles, recommended by the Citizen Review Committee, on December 6, 2007. In recommending adoption of the Guiding Principles, CRC Chair Mayor Norman B. Rice said, “These principles point to a balance between serving the needs of current and future residents and acknowledging the opportunities of the redevelopment for the larger community.”

In 2008 and 2009, staff, consultants and members of the CRC worked on developing various site concepts and development scenarios for Yesler Terrace. This led to the Environmental Review Process, with a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) published in October 2010. After public hearings, comments, and further research, a final Environmental Impact Statement was published in April 2011.

Following years of planning and input by residents and other stakeholders, in September 2012, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a package of legislation authorizing the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace. This approval endorses the Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners’ adopted Redevelopment Plan for the neighborhood. Please visit the City of Seattle website for a record of the legislation passed.

The documents published below are a result of the planning processes from 2008 through 2012.

Planning glossary

A glossary of urban planning and design terms was developed by consultants CollinsWoerman to assist members of the Citizen Review Committee and the public in understanding common planning terms.

Community Workshops (July – October 2008)

The Yesler Terrace redevelopment team, including consultant CollinsWoerman, worked with the community to gather input from residents on conceptual site alternatives. A total of five workshops were held from late July through mid-October 2008. Information about the results of each meeting is available in ten languages, in PDF format (download Adobe Reader).

Workshop on Community Priorities (July 31, 2008)

Workshop on Living in an Urban Environment (August 5, 2008)

Workshop on Housing and Living at Yesler Terrace  (August 14, 2008)

Workshop on Job Opportunities at Yesler Terrace (October 1, 2008)

Workshop on Making Yesler Terrace Healthy and Safe (October 15, 2008)

Yesler Terrace Background Report (September 2008)

Planning consultant CollinsWoerman prepared the “Yesler Terrace Background Report” in September 2008. This background report highlighted existing conditions that could affect strategic redevelopment.
Research focused on five dimensions of the neighborhood: physical, environment, social, economic and regulatory system.

Report findings have helped to guide team efforts through a common understanding of what is there today and how it came to be. The background report has been the foundation for subsequent strategic analysis leading to selection of a preferred redevelopment alternative. A six-page Executive Summary of the report available is available in PDF format:

Planning Concepts (November 2008)

As part of the Seattle Housing Authority’s effort to redevelop Yesler Terrace, the Citizen Review Committee (CRC) was formed to develop definitions and guiding principles which would help direct the community’s vision for the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace. Using the CRC’s work as a source, the Seattle Housing Authority and a consultant team created draft planning concepts intended to stand in support of the committee’s recommendations. The concepts have been reviewed and discussed by the CRC and the community. The Planning Concepts were then published in November 2007.

The planning concepts for Yesler Terrace redevelopment are available in nine languages in additoin to English, in PDF format (download Adobe Reader).

Planning elements overview (January 2009)

This overview presented a more detailed redevelopment schedule and illustrated key redevelopment elements, as they related to the Guiding Principles and planning goals.

Urban design case studies & elements (February 2009)

Four urban design case studies were assembled by consultants CollinsWoerman, along with a collection of urban design elements. They were developed to offer intriguing ideas and components that could  be integrated into the redeveloped Yesler Terrace.

Local neighborhood studies (February 2009)

An exploration of two existing urban neighborhoods in Seattle—Belltown and First Hill—and how they compare to Yesler Terrace.

Financial model overview (February 2009)

A summary of the Yesler Terrace financial model, including assumptions for costs, revenues, land use, and planning was presented to the Citizen Review Committee by Seattle Housing Authority’s financial consultants.

Exploration of ideas (March 2009)

As part of the CRC’s consideration of various approaches to Yesler Terrace Redevelopment, a document was developed to explore concept variables related to redevelopment: building height/massing and open space.

Concept variables and planning concepts (April 2009)

As the CRC began to explore the implications of various ideas for the redevelopment, consultants devloped a series of planning concepts to give committee members more concrete ideas about possible choices. Variables explored in the various concepts included topography, connections/edges, circulation, office uses, and retail uses. Three distinct planning concepts are outlined in this document.

Evaluation of concepts (May 2009)

The Citizen Review Committee engaged in a participatory process to evaluate the three concepts presented in April 2009. The evaluations and comments from this exercise are summarized here.and refined by the CRC. 

Evaluation document (May 2009)

CRC members and Yesler Terrace residents evaluated three redevelopment concepts using seven criteria outlined in this document. CRC member and resident comments related to the concepts were noted. General questions were answered as well.

Evaluations summary (May 2009)

The evaluation report reflects thoughts from the CRC about the individual concept variables as well as each of the three preliminary concepts. These thoughts and comments were considered along with input from other stakeholders and consultants (i.e. City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Transportation, Utilities, Seattle Design Commission, the development community, financial consultants, etc.) to inform and guide the Yesler Terrace redevelopment plans.

Environmental Review Process

Beginning in late 2009, the Housing Authority worked with the City of Seattle and consultants to study the impacts of the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace on the surrounding enviroment. A wide variety of issues were studied. The formal process concluded in 2011 with the publication of the Final Environmental Impact Statment.

2010 Sustainable District Study

In partnership with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Housing commissioned a study by national experts in mid-2010 to evaluate the sustainability potential of the Yesler Terrace redevelopment.

Initial study findings indicate that opportunities are worth pursuing in the area of district heating, use of renewable energy sources and water re-use for potentially significant decreases in water usage.

2010 Renovation Cost Analysis

This study was conducted to estimate the costs associated with the replacement and rehabilitation of Yesler Terrace. The report is referered to in the Final EIS.

Copyright © 2013
Seattle Housing Authority

We’re Located At:

190 Queen Anne Ave North
Seattle WA 98109-1028

Phone: 206-239-1500

Can't Find Something?