On August 21, 2020, Mayor Jenny Durkan signed Ordinance 126131, the Childcare Near You legislation, providing greater flexibility to establish new child care centers in nearly all zones in the city including single-family zones. This ordinance is effective as of September 20, 2020.
The City Council originated this new ordinance to remove regulatory barriers to creating new child care businesses in Seattle, especially those conveniently located in neighborhoods. The City has an estimated shortage of available child care for about 15,000 children.
The ordinance includes the following kinds of changes to permitting requirements:
- Removes limits on child care centers in homes; can be present in legal attached or detached accessory dwelling units, including in single-family zones
- Defines child care centers not in homes as a land use “permitted outright” in single-family and lowrise multifamily zones, with fewer requirements and conditions
- Removes a 600-foot “dispersion” requirement between child care uses and other institutional uses
- Removes size limits in neighborhood commercial 1 and 2 zones
- Allows child care uses to be exempt from floor area limits in more zones: midrise, highrise, commercial, and Seattle mixed zones
- Allows child care uses to be present at ground floor within pedestrian-designated zones
- Defines more varieties of child care in the code, such as drop-in centers (by the day) and cooperative child care exchanges
A copy of the ordinance is provided here for your reference. Related information can be found on the City Clerk’s Legistar electronic records site. The City Clerk’s office can be reached at (206) 684-8344 or by e-mailing the Clerk at CityClerk@seattle.gov.
If you have any questions about the adopted legislation, please contact: