SDCI uses target review dates as a way to prioritize and assign projects. The target dates are based upon goals that we established for “typical” application and demand volumes. These dates help us balance our staffing levels to meet those “typical” goals. We may not be able to meet our target dates if we have an unusually high volume of work compared to our available staffing levels. Recently, the work volume has greatly outweighed our available staffing levels, and we are running longer on our initial review timeframes.
Under our normal workload, we can complete the initial plan review within 2 – 4 weeks of accepting your application for simple and medium projects and within 8 – 12 weeks after we accept your application for complex projects. However, due to the high work volume, we are currently completing initial plan review 2 – 6 weeks later. Our current initial review times are:
- 6 weeks for simple and medium projects
- 17 weeks for complex projects
Our ordinance and structural, drainage, and geotechnical reviews have run longer in part due to staffing challenges related to 2020 hiring freeze to address pandemic response budget needs and the impact from the vesting rush prior to the 2018 Seattle Codes effective date in mid-March. We are now able to address our staffing challenges. We are pleased to announce that we have hired 8 new Building Plans Examiners. Our new employees have backgrounds ranging from licensed architects and engineers, to code enforcement, to project management. We are especially pleased that our new employees extend our ability to communicate directly with our customers that speak Spanish, Laotian, Chinese, and Thai.
We fully expect to see our initial plan review timelines turn around quickly as we get our new employees trained and conducting reviews. Our goal is to reduce the ordinance and structural reviews to less than our stated target dates.
Please see our Frequently Asked Question about SDCI Review Status and Target Due Dates for more information about project reviews.