On December 15, 2021, Mayor Durkan signed Ordinance 126509, which changes the name of “Single Family” zones to “Neighborhood Residential” zones.
Seattle’s Land Use Code and the official zoning maps divide the city geographically into zoning districts (e.g., single-family residential, multifamily residential, commercial, industrial, etc.). Ordinance 126509 applies the new zone name by dividing the neighborhood residential areas into four zones, based on pre-existing minimum required lot sizes: Single-family 9600 (SF 9600), Single-family 7200 (SF 7200), Single-family 5000 (SF 5000), and Residential Small Lot (RSL). The ordinance renames these zones as shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Zoning Name Changes
|Existing Zone (Abbreviation)||New Zone (Abbreviation)|
|Single-family Residential 9600 (SF 9600)||Neighborhood Residential 1 (NR1)|
|Single-family Residential 7200 (SF 7200)||Neighborhood Residential 2 (NR2)|
|Single-family Residential 5000 (SF 5000)||Neighborhood Residential 3 (NR3)|
|Residential Small Lot (RSL)||Neighborhood Residential Small Lot (RSL)|
Ordinance 126509 updates these names throughout the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC). Zoning district names would be updated in the following:
- Official Land Use Map/Seattle Zoning Maps
- Throughout the Land Use Code (SMC Title 23)
- Short-term rental licensing regulations (SMC Chapter 6.600)
- Traffic administration regulations (SMC Chapter 11.16) and street use regulations (SMC Title 15)
- Building and construction codes (SMC Title 22)
- Environmental regulations (SMC Title 25)
The ordinance would only update these names and add definitions for these new names, no other changes are made. The only code sections that currently refer to single-family zones that the ordinance would not update are SMC Chapter 23.60A, the Seattle Shoreline Master Program Regulations.
Amendments to shoreline regulations require approval by the State and extensive targeted outreach to shoreline stakeholders. After consultation with the Washington State Department of Ecology, it was determined that the best approach to updating this chapter of the SMC would be to make changes to references to single-family zones in the Shoreline Chapter as part of the next general update to the City’s Shoreline regulations.
References are retained in the Land Use Code to single-family zones to maintain consistency in the Shoreline Chapter. The ordinance is effective on June 13, 2022 and leading up to that date, SDCI staff are working to update the City’s zoning maps, SDCI’s Director Rules, and other documents that reference single-family zones. Municode, the City’s code publisher, will update the SMC.