To combat urban sprawl, in 1994 Seattle adopted a growth management strategy based on the concept of “urban villages.” Selected neighborhoods would be targeted for growth by “creating attractive urban living environments replete with parks, shops, and restaurants, and a convenient mass-transit system,” according to one story covering the issue at the time. Three categories of urban villages were defined:
- 5 urban centers – the densest of neighborhoods, and that would provide a diverse mix of uses, housing, and employment opportunities
- 7 urban hubs – generally less dense than urban centers, and that would a provide a balance of housing and employment
- 17 residential urban villages – the least dense of the villages, and that would provide a focus of goods and services for residents and surrounding communities but may not provide a concentration of employment
The neighborhood just to the east of Green Lake was included among the 17 planned residential urban villages. In the 20 years since, Green Lake Residential Urban Village has undergone substantial growth, with the addition of a number of large residential and retail complexes, including Green Lake Village (2014), Circa Green Lake (2008), Florera Greenlake (2007), and The Greenlake Condos (2003). According to a Seattle DPD report issued in July of 2015 on Urban Center/Village growth, 640 “dwelling units” have been added to the Green Lake Urban Village since 2005—nearly two and a half times the target set by the city for the period 2005-2024. If that pace continues, by 2024 the city will have exceeded its goal fivefold.
As of September 2015, projects are in the works (proposed or in development) that will add nearly 250 more units to Green Lake Urban Village over the next several years.
For more on Seattle’s urban villages see Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan—Urban Village Element.
For a zoomable high resolution map of the Green Lake Residential Urban Village click the map below. The map provides the zoning codes within this neighborhood. To understand those, see Seattle Zoning Codes.