The recent launch of our new permitting, complaint, and inspection software did not meet our expectations for effectiveness and service. Customers were initially unable to access or use the system and had trouble contacting us for help. We took immediate steps to correct these issues, working with our partners in Seattle Information Technology (Seattle IT) to stabilize the system and add resources to the response teams. We continue to identify and correct other issues. Still, we know that this rocky roll-out had a negative impact on our customers and the public and I am very sorry about that. We’re working hard to make this right.
On July 1, many of the Design Review program changes that were adopted in Ordinance 125429, in October 2017, went into effect. The changes included:
new requirements for early community outreach for all projects going through Design Review; changes to the thresholds that determine which projects are required to go through Design Review; the type of Design Review that would be required.
Washington state law authorizes the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) to impose a fee on residential and commercial building permits issued by local government agencies, plus an additional surcharge for each residential unit after the first unit (RCW 19.27.085). Each Washington county and city is required to send the money collected for this purpose to the state treasurer on a quarterly basis. SDCI has always added this fee and any related surcharges to building permits issued by the City of Seattle.
SDCI is in the process of creating a new Design Review Board to serve the Central Area. We are currently finalizing our selection of candidates to fill board positions representing local residential, community, development, business/landscape design, and design profession interests.
The Property Owner and Tenant Assistance unit at SDCI works to empower renters and landlords and help them to understand their rights and obligations under Seattle City law. If necessary, we take enforcement action to make sure they follow the law.
SDCI now requires online applications for all over-the-counter (OTC) applications. OTC applications are Single-Family/Duplex Furnace, Refrigeration, and Over-the-Counter Electrical permits. We issue your permits in 1 – 2 business days after you submit a complete application.
Do you work with or lead a community organization? Add your group to the Department of Neighborhoods’ (DON’s) Community Connector to promote your organization and reach new people in your community.
SDCI has published DR 18-2018 to explain the City’s responsibility for collecting Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) fees for issued building permits. DR 18-2018 also streamlines and replaces DR 3-2013.
We published one new Tip and six final Director’s Rules in June.
On June 12, we published a final joint Director’s Rule with Department of Neighborhoods (DON). The Rule expands on the new requirement that all projects going through Design Review must conduct community outreach before beginning the early design guidance (EDG) process.