After much discussion, and in accordance with public health guidance, the City closed its public-facing counters across multiple departments, including SDCI. We expect to reopen our counters Monday, April 13, but will continue to evaluate this timeline as the pandemic situation evolves.
SDCI is in the process of updating Seattle’s construction codes to the 2018 versions of the building, residential, existing buildings, mechanical, energy, fuel gas, and plumbing codes. We have been aiming for an effective date of July 1, 2020, to align with the effective date of the Washington State building codes. However, due to many factors, including the impacts of the COVID-19, the effective date of Seattle’s codes will be delayed until November 1, 2020. If the 2018 Washington State construction codes effective date is delayed past November 1, we will align the effective date of our codes with the State.
The City of Seattle has been preparing to respond to COVID-19 since January. We are following guidance from our partners at Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC), Washington State Department of Health (DOH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The City and SDCI take the health and wellbeing of our customers and staff seriously.
We are pleased to continue our monthly training sessions for the Seattle Services Portal. Our goal is to help Portal users understand more about the permits and licensing process via our online portal. We meet the third Tuesday of each month from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at 700 5th Avenue, Room 1928. Please join us in person or via Skype to have all your questions answered live. Our topic for March is The Rental Registration Process (RRIO).
Our stormwater code protects people, property, and the environment by controlling how rainwater runs off of streets, buildings, and parking lots. This stormwater runoff can cause flooding, landslides, and erosion that can damage our homes, businesses, and property. Stormwater is also the main source for pollutants in our creeks, lakes, bays, and other waterways.
The Department of Ecology is requiring Seattle to update our current codes with additional stormwater control regulations as a condition of our NPDES permit. To meet these requirements, we are revising our existing Stormwater Code (SMC 22.800-22.808) and the associated Stormwater Manual (Directors’ Rule 17-2017).
Visit our new 2018 Seattle Building Code website! We’re currently working on amendments for the 2018 Seattle Building Code, Residential Code, Existing Building Code, Fire Code, Plumbing Code, Mechanical Code, Electrical Code, Boiler Code, and Elevator Code. Amendments under current review are those adopted by the WA State Building Code Council, current amendments of the 2015 Seattle Codes continuing in the 2018 Codes, and newly proposed changes from various stakeholders.
Starting March 28, 2020, all applications for Water Availability Certificates (WACs) and Determination requests will be processed through the Seattle Services Portal. This update will streamline the Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU’s) application process with SDCI and make SPU’s requirements and review status clearer and more transparent.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Street Use division requires long-term, annually renewing, Public Space Management (PSM) permits for private encroachments in the public right-of-way. These include retaining walls, balconies, bay windows, stairs, and other privately-owned structures. The PSM permit provides the long-term tracking and record of ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the allowed encroachment. Soldier piles are also considered a private encroachment in the right-of-way and SDOT may review these as part of a Street Use construction permit or SDCI shoring review.
We updated a Tip about Hazard Trees and published three draft and three final director’s rules in February.
To help more residents own and rent accessory dwelling units (ADUs), the City is currently seeking submissions of designs for detached ADUs, often called DADUs or backyard cottages. Pre-approved designs will offer a faster, easier, and more predictable path to permit and construct a DADU. Homeowners choosing a pre-approved plan will pay reduced permit fees and get their permit within 2-6 weeks for sites without protected trees or environmentally critical areas and that do not need drainage review.