In February of 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) required Seattle to update our floodplain regulations to include FEMA’s new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and the Flood Insurance Study (FIS). FEMA’s adoption of the new map and study also included an audit of Seattle’s floodplain regulations. Through the audit, FEMA identified several places in Seattle’s code that needed to be amended in order to comply with the minimum standards in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). FEMA included the following required amendments in their audit: new definitions and updates to existing definitions to meet minimum standards; updates to the regulatory floodway development standards; and the inclusion of newly mapped coastal high hazard flood zone (VE zone) and required regulations for this zone.
Last year, the City established interim standards limiting lot area exceptions and the height of homes on some undersized lots that qualify for separate development. This decision was made in response to residents of single-family neighborhoods who were concerned that certain developments on undersized lots in single-family zones were incompatible with their surroundings. The interim regulations extend until September 2014 or until they are replaced by permanent regulations.
Mayor Ed Murray delivered proposed new regulations for micro-housing to the City Council in late March. The regulations would clarify how zoning rules apply to micro-housing and congregate residences. Regulations would also require design review of new projects. The City Council will review the proposed new rules, beginning with the first briefing of the Council’s Planning Land Use and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee, tentatively scheduled for April 18, 2014.
On Monday, Sept. 10 an intergovernmental team consisting of City staff and representatives from the Mayor’s office, City Councilmembers and the City Attorney set in motion the process to begin deliberations on proposed legislation to establish zoning regulations for growing, processing, and dispensing of cannabis in Seattle. The intent is to help protect city businesses and neighborhoods.