Ryan Hill Neighborhood Study

Study Background

The Ryan Hill neighborhood annexed into the City of Tukwila in 1989 as part of the Fire District #1 annexation.  The neighborhood is located adjacent to Seattle along Interstate 5, with direct freeway access via Boeing Access Road. Over the past 30 years, there have been small additions to the neighborhood but, as a whole, the neighborhood has remained relatively unchanged.  It is located on the eastern wall of the Duwamish River basin and contains sensitive features such as wetlands, streams, and slopes and development challenges such as limited sewer, water, and transportation infrastructure.  The area also is dissected by a 100 foot wide l Seattle Power & Light utility easement

City residents have said they want neighborhoods with:

  • Land use patterns that encourage a strong sense of community;
  • Physical features that preserve and strengthen neighborhood character, and enhance neighborhood quality;
  • Enhancement and revitalization that encourages long term residency and environmental sustainability;
  • High quality pedestrian character with a variety of housing options for residents in all stages of life; and
  • Supportive neighborhood commercial areas and protection from noise impacts.

Development interest within the Ryan Hill neighborhood has gradually been increasing.  Thisis creating the need for a thorough look at the neighborhood including what, if any, land use changes should be made and what types of infrastructure improvements would be required to support potential redevelopment. A comprehensive review and analysis is being undertaken to ensure that development decisions are working collectively to achieve the above goals for the neighborhood and that development-driven infrastructure improvements, such as sewer, water, and roadways, are coordinated and maximized.


Study Objectives

Change is inevitable and, with our roaring regional economy, is happening very quickly.  We may not be able to stop change, but we can certainly coordinate how and to what extent it happens.  There are many areas of the Ryan Hill neighborhood that will likely remain the same, but there may be opportunity where development can support the goals for residential neighborhoods such as long-term residency and high quality infrastructure.  This study will take a look at what types of development are feasible within the neighborhood and what types of water, sewer, roadway, and public facility improvements would be required to support any land use changes, should they occur.  This study is a proactive approach to understanding the realities of the area and the desires of its property owners and residents.  The City will provide information on options and costs for supporting neighborhood goals.



Step One:  Assess the neighborhood’s existing conditions and constraints, analyze development patterns, and identify infrastructure deficiencies.

Step Two:  Solicit feedback on neighborhood opportunities and challenges from residents, property owners, and stakeholders.

Step Three:  Create three future land use scenarios that reflect input, existing conditions, and development realities.  Prepare infrastructure cost estimates associated with each of the three land use scenarios.

Step Four:   Provide the land use scenarios and their respective implications and development costs to the public; make scenario adjustments, as necessary.

Step Five:  Present public comments on the land use scenarios, infrastructure options, and possible financing strategies to City Council.

Step Six:  Prepare a Comprehensive Plan amendment to adjust zoning in the area, if necessary.


Take the Survey

What are your thoughts on the issues and opportunities within the Ryan Hill neighborhood?  Take our brief survey and let us know your thoughts!  The survey will take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete, and your views and insight are an integral part of planning the future of the Ryan Hill neighborhood.


Neighborhood Input Meeting – Nov. 15, 2017

Thanks to everyone who was able to come to the open house. Many people met their neighbors and staff received helpful comments.   These comments included enjoying the neighborhood because it is wooded and has a nice rural feel.   “Close enough yet far enough away to be peaceful.” View a summary of the meeting for highlights.

We heard that Tukwila provides great Police and Fire emergency service. While there are pockets of criminal activity it is not particularly worse than elsewhere.

However, traffic is an issue – especially taking left turns onto Ryan Way and at the stop intersections on 51st  Avenue S. Some expressed concern about traffic generated by new development under the change scenarios. Some people said that public transit is an issue but others said it is an asset.  Drainage and lack of parks and sidewalks are also concerns.

We understand that some owners have been waiting for sewers and as the plans show, there are a number of lots that are undevelopable primarily because of lack of sewers, that is the lots are too small and or soils do not support that type of system.

See the three scenarios that were presented at meeting:

Here is the open house presentation with some great background maps on the roads and sensitive areas in the neighborhood. 

This photo gallery contains the mapping presented at the meeting, some of which are also contained in the above Presentation.

What’s next?   The study consultant, LDC, will prepare cost estimates for the three scenarios above and will post those estimates when they become available.


Contact Us

For more information on the Ryan Hill Study, please contact project manager Brandon Gonzalez, AICP at or Nora Gierloff, Deputy Department of Community Development Director, at