Category Archives: City Council

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Design Review Program “Improvements”, Comments due Monday July 10

Growth Without Oversight:

Seattle Design Review “Improvements” Released
Your Input Matters!

Do you believe in responsible growth that is positive for your community’s quality of life as well as benefitting developers and investors?

Then make your voice heard with the City Council! The City’s proposal to amend the design review process takes away your influence concerning what gets built in your neighborhood.

The City and Neighborhood Design Guidelines combine with the two public Design Review Review meetings format to make growth fit within the context of your neighborhood. Without the check and balance of inclusive design review, growth can destroy neighborhoods. With it, the character and quality of the neighborhood is strengthened when adding housing and commercial spaces.

Please ask all Council members to:

  • Leave the Design Review process as is.
  • Direct city employees and the Design Review Boards to enforce existing design guidelines.

Two Important Dates:

  • Public comments will be accepted through Monday July 10, 2017.
  • SEPA appeals may be made through Thursday June 29, 2017.

Proposed changes that impact neighborhoods include:

  • Removing neighborhoods from the process by replacing language such as:
    • “Neighborhood priorities among the design guidelines” with “identify guideline priorities”.
    • “Highest priority to the neighborhood” with “highest priority to the Board”.
  • Exempting projects on properties of less than 10,000 square feet from any design review. In the past 2 years, 29% of projects were in this category. For perspective: most four story apartment buildings are on properties of less than 10,000 square feet.
  • Restricting the scope of the Design Review Process:
    • Administrative – Developments inside Urban Villages get Administrative Design Review, with no public meetings, if less than 20,000 square feet.
    • Hybrid – Developments up to 20,000 square feet (or larger inside an Urban Village) would require only the Design Review Board “Recommendation” meeting and not the “Early Design Guidance” meeting.
    • Full – Only the largest developments, over 20,000 square feet, and only outside Urban Village boundaries, would require the normal Design Review Board “Early Design Guidance” and “Recommendation” meetings.
  • Revising who is a stakeholder by changing straightforward terms such as “Developers” to more generic terms like “Project Proponents”.
  • Shifting responsibility and authority from the Design Review Board to the Director. This has the effect of making Design Review Boards less independent, and will make the Board positions less attractive to the professionals who volunteer their time.
  • Granting departures from design guidelines without public review.

Submit your comments by Monday July 10, 5:00 PM to William Mills, Land Use Planner Supervisor, at or by mail to:
City of Seattle, SDCI
Attn: William Mills
PO Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124-7088

Please send your comments to the City Council by phone, 206-684-8888, or by email:;;;;;;;;

Please submit your comments to Mayor Murray:

Your input DOES MATTER!  Last year, due to comments and push-back from all over the city, the proposed changes were tabled until now.

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Candidate Forums

Here are some of the upcoming public forums for Mayoral and City Council candidates. Please use these opportunities to bring to the attention of the candidates your concerns about livable neighborhoods, affordable housing, Urban Village zoning changes, neighborhood representation, impact fees, transportation, parking, and other important issues.

Mayoral Candidates with the Seattle Neighborhood Coalition

The Seattle Neighborhood Coalition (SNC) will have two programs dedicated to extended meetings with Seattle Mayoral Candidates. Each meeting will have one hour individual sessions with 3 different candidates. The candidates will make opening and closing statements, respond to a few fixed questions from the SNC, and then respond to audience questions.

The Saturday June 10, 1:00 PM meeting is with Jessyn Farrell, Jenny Durkan, and Nikkita Oliver at Black Zone, 2301 South Jackson Street, Suite 203. Admission is $10 (which includes finger foods), but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

The Saturday July 8, 8:30 AM meeting is with Cary Moon, Michael McGinn, and Bob Hasagawa at the Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave S. Admission is $6 (or $14 for buffet breakfast), but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Picnic in the Park Candidate Forum

The Fremont Chamber of Commerce, the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce, the North Seattle Industrial Association, and the Seattle Propeller Club have invited the Mayoral candidates, City Council At Large candidates, City Attorney Candidates, and Port Commissioner candidates to the Picnic in the Park Candidate Forum at the picnic area in Gas Works Park, 2101 N Northlake Way on Wednesday June 21, 12:00 – 1:30 PM. Admission is $20 for members & $25 for non-members. Register to pay ahead or pay at the door.

Position 8 Candidate Forum

Our Revolution Ballard, in cooperation with the 36th District Democrats and Trinity United Methodist Church, is hosting a forum for the candidates running for Seattle City Council Position 8. So far, six candidates have agreed to join us for the forum: Hisam Goueli, Jon Grant, Mac McGregor, Teresa Mosqueda, Sheley Secrest, and Charlene Strong. At Trinity United Methodist Church, 6512 23rd Ave NW on Tuesday June 27, 6:00 – 8:00 PM.