On May 23, SDCI, along with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), released the National Development Council’s (NDC) report to the City of Seattle, Funding URM Retrofits.
We released a new Tip and a new Director’s Rule, and we updated several Tips.
New processes for inspection of vacant buildings took effect on June 1, 2019. The changes add a wider range of properties to the City’s Vacant Building Monitoring program, including all properties with active development proposals containing a vacant building. The frequency of inspections increased from once a quarter to once a month. We estimate that this will add approximately 1,200 new properties to the program this year and can reduce the risk of vacant buildings becoming a blight on the community. In the past, SDCI monitored around 100 properties each year with consistent vacant building violations.
New rules for vacant building monitoring take effect on June 1, 2019. The goal of the revised monitoring program is to help prevent the neighborhood blight commonly associated with vacant buildings.
On April 29, the City Council voted to adopt legislation to add new requirements for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in new off-street parking spaces. The legislation will now be sent to the Mayor for a signature.
Everyone deserves to live and work in safe buildings. SDCI staff have been involved in the creation of a first-in-the-nation program designed to provide in-depth training tailored to prepare individuals for jobs in Washington State building departments. This three-year program awards a certificate upon satisfactory completion of each three quarters (one class per quarter) for a total of three certificates.
On April 19, new rules went into effect for tree planting and protection requirements in single-family zones. The recently passed Mandatory Housing Affordability Ordinance 125791 made several important changes to tree protection requirements in the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 25.11, Tree Protection, and SMC 23.44, Single Family Zone.
SDCI has updated the filters for project status in the Seattle Services Portal. Our new options help customers more easily filter a long list of records to find all projects with a specific status. Previously, there were only a handful of statuses to select from. We have more than doubled the number of record statuses that customers can use to filter projects. We made this update to respond to customer feedback.
On April 19, citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation became effective, implementing affordable housing requirements throughout the City of Seattle. The legislation amends the Land Use Code in many ways, but specific to the green building standards, it changes the triggers for when the green building requirements apply. The Land Use Code does not make green building mandatory. The code does make green building a requirement when a project exceeds floor area ratio (FAR) thresholds, and when gaining extra floor area and height in specific zones.
Changes are coming to the Street Use division of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)! On June 10, 2019, SDOT is making updates to the way they issue permits and calculate fees for Street Use. Since many SDCI permit-holders also require Street Use permits, we want to make sure that you’re familiar with the changes and what you can expect when they take place in early June.