In April, 2022 the City of Seattle passed regulations to help protect our urban canopy. Those regulations require tree service providers to register with the City of Seattle before conducting commercial tree work, consultations on private property and posting a public notice on-site for any tree work beyond minimal routine maintenance. In February 2023, the City passed additional legislation to modify and clarify those regulations. See the SDCI tree code webpage for the detailed registration and notice requirements.
Tree Protections Update
SDCI, in consultation with the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE), has prepared draft tree protection updates to amend Title 23 (Land Use Code) and Title 25 (Tree Protection Code). We are also proposing two draft Director’s Rules. These updates respond to direction from the City Council to explore the strategies from Resolution 31902 adopted September 16, 2019 to increase tree protection to be consistent with the goals and policies of the 2015-2035 Comprehensive Plan and the 2020 Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP).
The Updated Stormwater Code Is Now Available
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.
What’s Happening with the Stormwater Code Update?
Our proposed 2021 Stormwater Code and Manual update is scheduled to be effective in July 2021. Our 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 web page. There are two public review periods and three public meetings coming up between now and mid-2021.
What’s Happening With the Stormwater Code Update?
The draft documents of the 2021 Stormwater Code and Manual, supporting documentation, and other related project code changes are available for your review on the project documents page. The official public review period for these documents was April 1 – May 16, 2020, but we are still interested in your comments. Visit the get involved page to find the template and instructions for submitting your feedback. We will hold another official comment period in the Fall/Winter of 2020.
Updating the City’s Stormwater Regulations
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). These new rules will replace the current drainage control code and Directors’ Rules which are administered jointly by SDCI and Seattle Public Utilities.
New Vacant Building Monitoring Rules
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.
Council Approves New Electric Vehicle Readiness Rules for Parking
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.
Environmentally Critical Areas Update
In January 2017, City Council approved updated environmentally critical areas (ECA) regulations. The Seattle City Council will be amending the Environmentally Critical Areas Ordinance to correct the effective date of the regulations. City Council is expected to approve this amendment in the middle of March and the effective date of the new Environmentally Critical Areas is expected to be the middle of April.
Effective Date for Seattle’s Shoreline Master Program
The Washington Department of Ecology approved Seattle’s updated Shoreline Master Program on June 1. It will take effect on June 15. Local shoreline master programs are a cornerstone of the state’s Shoreline Management Act, approved by voters in 1971. Seattle’s shoreline program will result in the balanced management of nearly 100 miles of marine, lake, and estuarine shorelines throughout the city.