In the City’s designated Urban Centers and in Urban Villages with light rail stations, the requirement for conducting SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) environmental review changes based on the amount of growth that has occurred. When growth reaches 90 percent of the “targets” set in the 2004 Comprehensive Plan for individual centers and villages, environmental review is required for smaller-sized projects.
DPD monitors the number of new dwellings built and permitted in each Urban Center and Urban Village. As of December 31, 2013, growth in the Downtown Urban Center and in the Roosevelt Urban Village has now passed 90% of the target, and so the environmental review thresholds in these locations will be reduced, from the current 200 dwelling units in Roosevelt and 250 units in Downtown to the new review threshold of 20 dwelling units in most zones. This change will take effect in Downtown and Roosevelt after 30 days advance notice is given, starting with the publication of a draft Director’s Rule for SEPA thresholds. New thresholds would become effective in early April. The 20 unit thresholds are already in effect in the U-District, Uptown and Capitol Hill Urban Centers.
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