SDCI standard process is to cancel permit applications that are more than 24 months old to ensure projects are meeting current standards. When an applicant submits an application, they are locked into (“vested to”) the codes current at that time. If an application is not issued within 24 months, it has the potential of becoming out of date with updated life safety codes, energy requirements, land use regulations, etc. It is important that applications are issued in a timely manner so that the projects are built to modern codes.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor issued an emergency order that resulted in SDCI suspending its process of cancelling applications older than 24 months. That emergency order ended in October 2022. SDCI will now resume cancelling old applications. SDCI will send notifications to affected applicants in the coming months outlining the timeframe in which permits must be obtained or be subject to application cancellation.
For reference, SDCI’s authority to cancel permit applications is outlined in the 2018 Seattle Building Code Section 106.6.9 and 106.6.10:
106.6.9 Cancellation of permit applications. Applications may be cancelled if no permit is issued by the earlier of the following: (1) twelve months following the date of application; or (2) sixty days from the date of written notice that the permit is ready to issue. After cancellation, construction documents submitted for review may be returned to the applicant or destroyed by the building official. The building official will notify the applicant in writing at least thirty days before the application is cancelled. The notice shall specify a date by which a request for extension must be submitted in order to avoid cancellation. The date shall be at least two weeks prior to the date on which the application will be cancelled.
106.6.10 Extensions prior to permit issuance. At the discretion of the building official, applications for projects that require more than 12 months to review and approve may be extended for a period that provides reasonable time to complete the review and approval, but in no case longer than 24 months from the date of the original application. No application may be extended more than once. After cancellation, the applicant shall submit a new application and pay a new fee to restart the permit process.
Notwithstanding other provisions of this code, applications may be extended where issuance of the permit is delayed by litigation, preparation of environmental impact statements, appeals, strikes or other causes related to the application that are beyond the applicant’s control, or while the applicant is making progress toward issuance of a master use permit.
If you have questions about this process, please contact one of SDCI’s permit specialists via our online Virtual Applicant Services Center.