On September 9, the Seattle City Council passed emergency legislation that establishes a minimum floor area ratio (FAR) requirement on lots with pedestrian designations in Neighborhood Commercial zones within Urban Centers, Urban Villages, and the Station Area Overlay District. This legislation would apply to any development in these areas proposing to add or remove more than 1,000 square feet of floor area or more than 10 percent of existing floor area, whichever is less.
The purpose of this legislation is to limit new low-density, suburban-style development that conflicts with the desired urban design and pedestrian-orientation goals of these areas by:
- Substantially under-developing sites
- Reducing activity adjacent to the sidewalk
- Encouraging substantial parking
- Limiting development opportunities on sites near transit and services
- Minimizing opportunity for residential and commercial development within a neighborhood
Since this legislation was passed on an emergency basis, a public hearing will be held by City Council in October or November. DPD will develop permanent regulations for the City Council to consider within a year.