SDCI is celebrating a major milestone on the pathway to improving Seattle’s earthquake safety. On September 26, 2023, the Public Safety and Human Services Committee voted 5-0 to refer Resolution 32111 to a Council vote. This resolution supports the development of a voluntary seismic retrofit ordinance that will establish a minimum seismic safety standard for the retrofit of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings. URM buildings are classic red brick buildings, generally constructed before 1945, and are prone to collapse in an earthquake. Seattle has 1,100 URM buildings and an 86% chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years. Adopting a mandatory URM retrofit ordinance continues to be the City’s long-term goal. However, adding a short-term goal to adopt a voluntary URM retrofit ordinance provides assurance to URM building owners that by retrofitting to the established standard, they will be compliant with future mandatory requirements. Resolution 32111 is scheduled for a vote by full Council on October 10.
Draft legislation is available for review and comment until December 23, 2019. It would update width of access easements for townhouses to match the driveway width. This code amendment would apply to small-scale townhouse projects in Seattle and would help land be used efficiently for housing.
Our proposed amendments to the Land Use Code are intended to improve the overall function of the program to enhance the efficiency and predictability of the project review process and make the program more transparent and accessible to the community.
Draft legislation is available to review on our Vacant Building Code Updates website. The legislation would update provisions for the maintenance and demolition of vacant buildings. The proposed amendments to the Housing and Building Maintenance Code (Title 22) and the Land Use Code (Title 23) respond to an increase in the problems associated with vacant buildings in the city.