The University of Washington and 13 university-area community groups have transmitted to the City of Seattle a draft agreement governing future development by the UW on the university’s Seattle campus.
The unanimous agreement was developed over the past five months between the UW and the leadership of neighborhood community groups.
“The agreement will help to assure that the University of Washington is a good neighbor, and that the areas around the university continue to be desirable places to live,” says Weldon Ihrig, UW executive vice president.
“The agreement we have reached is a product of hard work by the people, businesses and the institution most affected by growth in this part of the city.”
Jeannie Hale, president of the Laurelhurst Community Club, says, “This is an historic, new chapter in amicable relations between the UW and the neighborhoods.”
“Community leaders, at the invitation of the University, have been meeting about how to plan for the future of this area,” said Susan Fleming, president of the U-District Community Council. “We are pleased at the revised City/University Agreement and hope the city will adopt our proposal.”
The draft agreement focuses on the process by which the UW will develop its campus master plan beyond the year 2001. The agreement covers off campus leasing within a “primary” and “secondary” zone. It also includes a consensus regarding membership in the City-University Community Advisory Committee, the committee’s responsibilities, and its operation. The agreement provides goals for transportation and traffic management, and it outlines the planning process, including the process for changing the university’s master plan.
Currently, the university’s planning process is governed by a 1983 City- University Agreement. In 1996, following a two-year review, the city adopted the Major Institution Ordinance, the land use code provisions governing major institutions. At that time, the City Council passed a resolution recognizing the need to review the agreement with the UW in light of the land use code changes. The city’s Department of Construction and Land Use reviewed the 1983 agreement and submitted a report and recommendations in May 1997.
But in June 1997 the community groups and the UW jointly requested that the city delay further consideration of changes to the Major Institutions Code specific to the university. The UW and community groups then began to work on specific changes to the 1983 agreement, which they believed were more appropriate than adapting the Major Institution Ordinance to cover unique university-community interests.
The community groups and the UW, by transmitting the proposal, have requested that the city initiate its process to approve the agreement. The UW Board of Regents will participate in that approval process.
“While the university will continue to focus on its teaching, research and service programs,” Ihrig said, “it recognizes that the university’s future is bound to that of the university’s surrounding neighborhoods. I believe that the relationships forged during the process of negotiating the draft agreement will go far in making sure those commonly held interests and goals are protected and achieved.” <!—at end of each paragraph insert