On July 10, the Carl Haglund Law becomes effective. The new legislation prohibits Seattle landlords from raising rent on units that fail to meet minimum rental housing standards. If a tenant believes their rent increase is not allowed under the new rules, the tenant must inform the landlord in writing (e-mail is allowed), after receiving notice of the rent increase, of any conditions that would fail the RRIO checklist. Tenants may then contact Seattle DCI through the general complaint line at (206) 615-0808.
For the past several months, we have been preparing to adopt the 2015 Seattle codes, including the Building, Residential, Mechanical, and Energy Conservation codes. While we don’t know what the legislative schedule will be, we are expecting to require compliance with the 2015 codes on January 1, 2017.
We are proposing updates to the Land Use Code to accommodate advances in two specific areas: internet service and federal licensing for use of the airwaves by low power radio station. Our proposal would change existing regulations to make it easier to place utility equipment boxes designed to improve internet, telephone, and video connections. Our proposal would also change regulations to make it easier for low power FM broadcasting facilities, licensed solely as non-profit entities and with a limited broadcasting reach, to put their antennas in suitable locations in all zones throughout the city.
Seattle’s location on the Puget Sound gives it a unique geography. There are about 200 miles of fresh and saltwater shorelines within Seattle’s city limits. The City of Seattle protects our shoreline ecosystems, encourages water-dependent uses, and maximizes the public’s enjoyment of our natural resources. The City ensures that residents follow the regulations in the 1972 Shoreline Management Act.
Seattle DCI and OPCD released draft Design Review Program Improvement recommendations on March 9, 2016. Our recommendations identify and evaluate organizational, structural, and procedural changes to enhance the design review program’s efficiency and enable it to better achieve its purpose. You can comment on our recommendations through April 8.
All applications for Land Use and Construction permits need to be reviewed by staff with expertise in various Seattle codes. It is important for all staff to review each project using the same property boundaries, known as a “development site.” This is important to properly conform to code requirements, to provide consistency to applicants and the public, and to allow property records to be easily accessible.
Seattle DCI has recently clarified its interpretation of the Seattle Residential Code (SRC) requirements for accessory dwelling units (ADUs). (ADUs are separate living spaces within a house.). Our code requirements are different, depending on whether the ADU is in a new construction project, or it is a remodel of an existing space within a single-family residence.
Following four public review sessions, the draft 2015 Seattle Commercial Energy Code is now posted on our 2015 Seattle Codes Adoption website. Our thanks to the dozens of local experts who volunteered their time through these hours of meetings, refining and improving the proposals. Seattle is committed to being a carbon-neutral city by the year 2050, and increasing the energy efficiency of our building stock will be a critical component of that transition.
The City of Seattle has approved Ordinance 124969. The ordinance included updated rules for minimum distance between marijuana-related businesses and public uses and amenities. It also changes rules for how many marijuana retail businesses may locate near each other. State licensing has also recently allowed the opportunity for some medical marijuana establishments to obtain licenses and convert to retail businesses.
Seattle DCI will hold a couple of public meetings during in February to review proposed changes to the “Commercial Buildings” provisions of the 2015 Seattle Energy Code. If you’re interested in attending one of these meetings, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited.