Chinatown-International District

What's Happening Now?

The Chinatown-International District (CID) Framework and Implementation Plan effort was initiated in the fall of 2016 in response to community priorities that were identified by the CID Public Safety Task Force (see "Project Documents" tab for a link to their report).

The development of a CID Framework and Implementation Plan was conceived as a partnership between the City and community stakeholders. During the project scoping phase, two primary objectives were defined:

  1. Undertake a strategic community planning effort that results in a Framework and Implement Plan to guide public investments in the CID neighborhood; and
  2. Design and carry out a culturally-relevant and responsive community involvement process, building on and improving partnerships between the city and community members.

The illustration below shows how the CID Framework and Implementation Plan work was structured into five Elements, each with a workgroup comprised of community members and City staff working on recommendations for policies and strategies to improve the CID.

Project Elements and Advisory Committee Structure

Project Outcomes to Date

The CID Framework and Implementation Plan work to date has served as a vehicle for documenting, communicating and guiding the development of recommendations related to the five key priority areas.

The CID planning project has been going through a period of reevaluation and reorganization. Related to those discussions, the Mayor's budget in 2019 included $200,000 to support further culturally relevant outreach, in-language engagement and funds to support near-term work on under I-5 activation.

A 2018 Status Report was prepared to support the CID Framework conversations regarding next steps; to provide a summary of the work completed by each workgroup to-date; and to serve as a resource for the ongoing work to support community action and investment consistent with community-defined priorities.

The outcomes for each project Element and its Workgroup to date include:

  • Preliminary recommendations for strategies and tools to help preserve affordable commercial spaces in the CID.
  • Preliminary recommendations that enhance affordable housing strategies in the CID.
  • Development of draft ISRD guidelines that include guidelines for new development in the CID. 
  • Completion of a consultant report on the feasibility for transitioning City facilities out of the Charles Street Campus property.
  • Creation of a forum for improved communication with the community regarding capital improvement projects in the CID and better coordination of their implementation.
  • CID Public Realm maps documenting existing, planned and potential future public realm improvements in the CID and preliminary recommendations for public realm improvements.

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Project Workgroups - Prioritized Plan Elements

Five Workgroups were formed to focus on the five Elements of the Framework and Implementation Plan. Each workgroup is comprised of community members who have expressed interest, and City staff members who support each workgroup. Community priorities guide each workgroup's work.

The following is a summary of the activities of each workgroup through mid-November of 2018 (also see 2018 Status Report). Visit our Project Documents page for meeting notes and work products of each workgroup.

Community Stabilization
This workgroup was established to consider a range of strategies to preserve affordability and address potential displacement of small businesses, including non-profit organizations, that contribute significantly to the neighborhood's cultural identity. This workgroup also focused on strategies to ensure that development pressure does not result in displacement of the neighborhood's affordable housing resources and encouraging a healthy mix of housing at various levels of affordability. The Office of Planning and Community Development, Office of Economic Development and the Office of Housing supported this workgroup.

ISRD expansion and Design Review
The CID neighborhood previously fell within the catchment area of three design review areas. On January 1, 2018, the ISRD boundary was officially expanded to include the entire CID neighborhood. This workgroup informed the development of draft ISRD design guidelines and will also helped identify potential amendments to the Land Use Code. Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation program, OPCD and SDCI staff support this work.

Charles Street Campus Master Plan Analysis
The CID community has long expressed a desire for the City to engage in a process to explore the feasibility of transitioning current City uses out of the Charles Street Yard facility, to provide opportunities for broader community use. This workgroup worked with the City's Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) in scoping and review of a consultant study of the potential to surplus some or all of the Charles Street Yard to provide future redevelopment opportunities.

The consultant study focused on departmental operational needs, tradeoffs and costs and benefits of various options. The consultant study was completed in the Summer of 2018 and concluded that relocating current uses is prohibitively expensive. In light of the study findings, this workgroup has decided to discontinue meeting.

Capital Project Coordination
This workgroup creates a forum for City and CID neighborhood review of planned City and other major public capital projects to ensure coordination, look for leveraging opportunities, consider project timing and to inform outreach and mitigation efforts. The Department of Neighborhoods has a lead coordination role. Senior staff from City capital departments are participating in this workgroup.

Public Realm planning
This workgroup reviewed existing and proposed public realm/open space assets and identified a list of possible future improvements. Elements include park development, streetscape improvement projects, transit hub area improvements and other projects. The Office of Planning and Community Development, Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Parks Department supported this workgroup.

Project Documents

Summary of Outcomes and Preliminary Recommendation

See the CID 2018 Status Report for a summary of work through November 2018.

Advisory Committee Meeting Notes

Workgroup 1: Community Stabilization

Workgroup 2: ISRD and Design Review

Workgroup 3: Charles Street Campus Master Plan

Workgroup 4: Capital Project Coordination

Workgroup 5: Public Realm


The CID Framework and Implementation Plan builds on the work of many as represented in these studies and plans that have captured the community's vision for the future.



Key tasks completed within each project phase to-date include:

  • Phase One: Background and Scoping

4th Quarter 2016 - 2nd Quarter 2017

    • Project Scoping 
    • Developed overall workplan
    • Established City Interdepartmental Team (IDT)
    • Established Advisory Committee
  • Phase Two: Advisory Committee and Workgroups Launch

2nd Quarter 2017 - 1st Quarter 2018

    • Advisory Committee (AC) meetings begin
    • Established five workgroups and identified Advisory Committee members to serve in capacity as workgroup leaders 
    • Fine-tuned workplan for each workgroup's area of focus
    • Initial scoping of racial equity outcomes with Advisory Committee
    • Convened workgroups
  • Phase Three: Preliminary Workgroup Recommendations

1st Quarter 2018 - 3rd Quarter 2018

    • Community Stabilization and Public Realm Workgroups developed and refined preliminary recommendations 
    • ISRD Workgroup helped develop updated design guidelines
    • Potential areas for land use code updates were identified by ISRD Workgroup
    • Charles St Campus analysis completed 
    • Capital Projects Workgroup established as an ongoing forum for community/City discussion of capital projects in the CID
    • Draft racial equity outcomes developed for each workgroup
  • Recent Happenings: Recentering on Community Voice and Leadership

3rd Quarter - 4th Quarter 2018

    • Advisory Committee decides to disband; chairs communicate issues to OPCD and DON directors
    • Charles Street Workgroup responds to analysis findings
    • Community listening sessions launched
    • Draft ISRD Design Guidelines submitted for legal review
    • Potential recommendations/strategies distributed to the Community Stabilization and Public Realm Workgroups for further community review, input and prioritization
    • Community meeting (Nov 19) to hear community concerns and outline proposed next steps

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.