The City Council’s Committee on the Built Environment’s proposal for new lowrise multifamily zoning is available for public review. The proposed legislation would amend the Land Use Code, Seattle’s policies pursuant to the Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and Tree Regulations to update lowrise zoning and other provisions as summarized by the following:
- Consolidate five lowrise zones (LDT, L1, L2, L3 and L4) into three (LR1, LR2 and LR3)
- Allow a height limit of 30 feet for most housing types and 40 feet for apartments in certain designated growth areas (such as urban centers, urban villages, and light rail station areas), with varying allowances for additional height for pitched roofs and, in some situations, a partially below grade floor
- Apply updated development standards based on housing types (such as townhouses and rowhouses) including:
- flexible standards – setbacks, floor area ratio (FAR) and width and depth limits
- density limits – based on housing type, design features and location in or out of growth areas
- transitions – restrictions on additions to height limits for lowrise zoned lots abutting single-family zoned lots
- Improve the appearance and function of new development with new design standards
- Eliminate parking requirements for multifamily uses in urban villages for lots within walking distance of transit stops with frequent service, and eliminate the City’s authority to require more parking in these areas and certain urban centers through environmental review
- Apply the Green Factor landscaping requirement and residential amenity requirements
- Clarify and organize regulations
Recommendations to change lowrise zoning provisions apply only to land that is currently zoned for lowrise multifamily development. No single-family zoned areas are proposed to be rezoned. While lowrise zones are proposed to be consolidated and renamed, no further remapping is proposed.
Other amendments are proposed, such as changing the method for measuring height, and space requirements for storage of garbage and recycling containers, that apply to more than just lowrise multifamily zones.
The City Council’s Committee on the Built Environment will hold a public hearing to take comments on the proposal on May 25, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. The hearing will be held in Council Chambers in Seattle City Hall.
Questions regarding the proposed amendments may be directed to City Council Central Staff: Rebecca Herzfeld at (206) 684-8148 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael Jenkins at (206) 615-1674 or via email at email@example.com.
Documents are available at the DPD Multifamily Code Update website, www.seattle.gov/DPD/Planning/Multifamily_Code_Update/Overview/, and the City Council website, http://seattle.gov/council/clark/2009townhomes-mcuvideos.htm.