The City Council began its review of multifamily zoning in March 2009. In August, 2009, the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee (PLUNC) decided to split the proposal into two parts, beginning with changes to the Midrise and Highrise zones. The Council adopted amendments to those two zones in December 2009.
Phase two of the multifamily code update addresses the Lowrise zones and other issues remaining from last year. The City Council’s Committee on the Built Environment, formerly PLUNC, identified a list of issues to be examined and a schedule in February 2010. The issues to be addressed include:
- Consider encouraging different types of multifamily buildings (rowhouses, cottage housing, townhouses, and apartments) in different Lowrise zones, with the possibility of combining the L1 and L2 zones and L3 and L4 zones.
- Consider increasing the height limit from 25 feet to 30 feet in Lowrise Duplex Triplex (LDT), L1, and L2 zones, and from 30 feet to 35 or 37 feet in L3 zones, to encourage better design and more livable units.
- Determine appropriate Floor Area Ratio (FAR) limits. Consider whether the FAR exemptions approved by the Council last year for Midrise and Highrise zones should be applied in Lowrise zones, and whether FAR controls should replace density limits in LDT, L1, and L2 zones.
The committee schedule is working toward an anticipated vote in July or August. For more information on Council’s review and the analysis of the issues identified, please see their website: http://seattle.gov/council/clark/2009townhomes.htm.
Information is also available on DPD’s website at: www.seattle.gov/dpd/planning/multifamily/.