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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
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.