SDCI is pleased to announce that we are planning some exciting changes to how we review plan sets. This fall, we will stop sending out standard letter-based corrections for plan reviews and begin providing marked-up documents using the Bluebeam software application. This application allows reviewers to place comments directly where they apply on the plan set, instead of describing the location of the issue in a letter. We’re confident that this change will enhance the clarity of our comments.
SDCI is making improvements to the Seattle Services Portal to ensure valid contractor information is provided for required projects. Once we have implemented these changes, we will no longer require a contractor disclosure form. Instead, there will be an option at multiple stages in a record to provide (or change) contractor information by proving an active contractor license number or to indicate that the project is exempt from needing a contractor. We require valid contractor information before we issue any building permit in accordance with state law. We will send applicants reminder notifications at multiple stages of the application to let project contacts know if this requirement has not yet been complete
To help more residents own and rent detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs), the City is seeking submissions from architects, designers, and builders for plans that will be pre-approved for construction permits.
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan directed City staff to select plans for pre-approval to make the process to design and permit DADUs — often called backyard cottages — faster, easier, cheaper, and more predictable. Homeowners choosing a pre-approved plan will pay reduced permit fees and get their permit faster — in 2-6 weeks rather than several months for sites that do not involve protected trees or environmentally critical areas.
Have you been frustrated because your demolition application was tied to your construction application and you had to wait for the construction permit before the demolition permit? Maybe you thought you needed to postpone your demolition project because you couldn’t get the permit, possibly incurring additional costs related to Vacant Building Monitoring.
We’ve got good news for you! We now have a standalone demolition permit, a streamlined path to a much simpler start to your demolition project! Applying for a standalone demolition permit is now required. As of 8/8/2019, SDCI will no longer accept combined construction/demo applications.
To support increased permit volumes and reduce turnaround times for the review of permit applications, Mayor Durkan’s office coordinated with the City Budget Office to approve 13 additional positions for SDCI’s Land Use Division.
We will be bringing on 11 Land Use Planners, 1 Land Use Supervisor, and 1 Permit Specialist to support increased workload and reduce turnaround times for the review of permit applications.
The recent launch of our new permitting, complaint, and inspection software did not meet our expectations for effectiveness and service. Customers were initially unable to access or use the system and had trouble contacting us for help. We took immediate steps to correct these issues, working with our partners in Seattle Information Technology (Seattle IT) to stabilize the system and add resources to the response teams. We continue to identify and correct other issues. Still, we know that this rocky roll-out had a negative impact on our customers and the public and I am very sorry about that. We’re working hard to make this right.
As one of the nation’s fastest growing large cities, Seattle recognizes the opportunity to provide better service to the public and operate more efficiently by integrating its permitting processes across departments. In early 2017 a consulting company will begin gathering information to help the City build a strategic business plan for this effort. As part of this effort we’re gathering information from the public. If you would like to participate, please email Grette Benitez (Grette.Benitez@seattle.gov) or call at 206-684-3787 no later than January 10, 2017 to be scheduled for a session.