SDCI has a new policy calculating the number of stories for townhouses. A building’s “story count” is based on the calculated Grade Plane. Since adopting the first Seattle Residential Code (SRC) in 2004, SDCI’s policy has been that a series of attached townhouses can have only one grade plane. This has meant that when a series of townhouses steps up a hill it can become a four-story structure (in code terms), even though each individual unit only has three stories.
SDCI Code Compliance enforces violations of the Tree Protection Code and the Regulations for Environmentally Critical Areas related to tree-cutting. Trees serve an important environmental function as well as adding beauty to our city. Our trees may be unnecessarily and unlawfully cut, sometimes at the instruction of a real estate agent or a tree company, because people are unaware of the rules about tree-cutting. There are several factors you should consider before deciding to remove a tree.
A huge thank you to everyone who attended SDCI’s North and South Seattle Home Fairs! We were able to answer questions for over 300 people. Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, renter, or potential homeowner, we hope that you learned something new and connected with our department and community. We’re grateful to have been joined by a variety of organizations, including Seattle Public Utilities, RainWise, Rebuilding Together Seattle, Habitat for Humanity, City Light, and Department of Neighborhoods to help us answer all your questions.
In March we updated two Tips and released two draft Director’s Rules and two final Director’s Rules.
On April 16, the City Council’s Sustainability & Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing to take comments on proposed legislation to add new requirements for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in new off-street parking spaces. The hearing will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Seattle City Council Chambers at City Hall, on the 2nd floor at 600 4th Avenue.
Many new Seattle residential buildings include private balconies for each unit. Although they may be outside of the building envelope, where these balconies are covered by a roof or by the floor of the balcony above, they are considered floor area, and must comply with fire-resistance and separation requirements in the Seattle Building Code. To help architects and others, SDCI has recently released two Code Interpretations on this topic.
We revised the rat abatement forms required for getting demolition permits. Under the new process, applicants will file a declaration with their permit application affirming they understand the rat abatement requirement. There will be no hold on issuance of the demolition permit. At the first ground disturbance inspection, prior to the start of demolition, the applicant or contractor will provide a certification from a pest control company. The certification will confirm the date the rat abatement program started and confirm that the abatement program will continue until demolition actually starts.
We have transitioned to a new process for sending in geotechnical field reports and final letters. You will need to create an account to access your organization’s projects using the Seattle Services Portal. There should be one account per organization/firm that you use to upload field reports and final letters. This account should be separate from an individual account that you might use to apply for a permit.
Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) is seeking volunteers to fill board openings for an electrical contractor, general contractor, commercial building owner or operator, and a developer and/or contractor on residential projects. Board members help the City evaluate construction codes to ensure that Seattle buildings stay safe, accessible, and sustainable. The deadline for submitting applications is March 11, 2019.
We updated 4 Tips in February.