On August 14, 2023, the City Council amended the land use code to make two important changes to the design review program aimed at encouraging additional low income housing. The first change permanently exempts low income housing projects from the Design Review program while still allowing design departures that would result in additional housing. The second change to the land use code provides a new Design Review exemption for projects that meet Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) requirements by providing units on site (the performance option under the Land Use Code). The same set of departures available to low income housing projects are available to these performance projects.
DPD transmitted legislation to City Council that proposes to amend the Land Use Code to encourage Low Impact Development (LID), a stormwater management strategy that mimics natural processes to reduce the amount of rainwater that runs off a site. LID strategies include bioretention, reducing impervious surfaces, and clustering buildings together to reduce site disturbance. In September 2015, DPD completed the SEPA review of the proposed legislation.
DPD has completed the SEPA review of the proposed low impact development (LID) code changes. DPD has also updated the LID website has been updated to include links to the LID ordinance/code amendments, Director’s Report, SEPA Decision, and the SEPA Checklist.