– Lowrise Zoning and Streamlined Design Review for Townhouses
The second public hearing on multifamily lowrise zoning and streamlined design review for townhouses was held on Monday, November 22. Fifteen people spoke. Views were mixed, but many spoke in favor of the proposed new zoning. Support generally focused on the overall flexibility of the proposed provisions and new design standards. Most felt that these would lead to more interesting designs. The streamlined administrative design review proposal that would apply to townhouse development was also a topic for discussion. Builders expressed concern over the amount of time this review might take and potential added construction costs. Others supported the streamlined design review proposal for its benefits to better designed multifamily neighborhoods.
The Council’s Committee on the Built Environment, voted to approve the proposed Council Bill on November 30, making a number of technical amendments and adding requirements for a thorough report back from DPD on the new design review process after review of 10 projects. A new version 16 of the bill is being prepared by council staff. The full City Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on the new bill on December 13. If adopted the new zoning and review process would generally be effective in mid to late March 2011. For more information, please see Councilmember Sally Clark’s website at this address: http://seattle.gov/council/clark/2009townhomes-mcuvideos.htm.