Recently there has been confusion on interpreting the insulation requirements for refrigerant lines connecting the indoor and outdoor units of heat pumps. The following are SDCI’s requirements for insulating refrigerant lines and how they differ between residential buildings and commercial buildings.
In February of 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) required Seattle to update our floodplain regulations to include FEMA’s new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and the Flood Insurance Study (FIS). FEMA’s adoption of the new map and study also included an audit of Seattle’s floodplain regulations. Through the audit, FEMA identified several places in Seattle’s code that needed to be amended in order to comply with the minimum standards in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). FEMA included the following required amendments in their audit: new definitions and updates to existing definitions to meet minimum standards; updates to the regulatory floodway development standards; and the inclusion of newly mapped coastal high hazard flood zone (VE zone) and required regulations for this zone.
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan transmitted legislation to the City Council to allow more flexibility in permitted uses for empty downtown storefronts as Seattle seeks to revitalize the heart of the city with new shops and businesses. If passed by the City Council, the new temporary proposal would provide flexibility for businesses, artists, and other organizations to activate empty storefronts by allowing art installations, museums, and a greater variety of businesses, among other new options.
The City of Seattle Stormwater Code and Manual became effective July 1, 2021. Please visit our Stormwater Code website as a great deal has changed with this update. SDCI has prepared multiple training materials to help prepare applicants that are posted on the website. We are also hosting virtual Q&A sessions each Wednesday in July and August at 2:00 p.m.
We updated four Tips and published a draft Director’s Rule on an updated Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance Checklist.
The Seattle Services Portal improvements team has been working on a variety of feature updates to make it easier to use the Seattle Services Portal. On June 10, they will release an update that includes improvements to the My Records page that will make it easier to see all your records in one place, and easier to filter and sort your records to find what you need.
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.
The 2018 Seattle Energy Code went into effect on March 15, with a number of significant changes from the prior edition that impact HVAC systems, lighting, water heating, energy modeling, and more. These changes continue Seattle’s move towards a high-efficiency, carbon neutral building stock.
We updated two Tips, published a draft director’s rule, and published six final director’s rules.
The 2021 Stormwater Code and Manual update is on track to become effective on July 1, 2021. The new rules will replace the current Stormwater Code and Directors’ Rules, which are administered jointly by SDCI and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). For more information, visit our Updating Stormwater Regulations Background page. Draft documents of the revised rules and summary of the Stormwater Code changes are available on the Updating Stormwater Regulations Project Documents page. You can find recordings from three of the Public Meetings that highlighted the code changes on the Updating Stormwater Regulations Get Involved page.