Tomorrow Monday April 13 at 2 PM, the Seattle City Council will vote on CB119769, an emergency ordinance to expedite affordable housing during the COVID-19 crisis. The bill curtails public Design Review meetings for the next six to eight months to accelerate project approvals. Instead the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections will conduct only internal administrative reviews.
Administrative Design Review is where the developer can promote variances to set backs and allowances for roof-top structures for their projects. See the Downtown Residents Alliance post for further discussion of the bill.
- A better option is to eliminate Design Review for the crisis period. All developers would have to follow the land use code without exception.
- Only projects with significant affordable housing units on-site should be given this exemption. Market-rate and commercial projects can wait.
- Six to eight months is an excessive time period for a crisis that may ease in one to two months.