On May 12, 2006, new downtown zoning legislation went into effect.
The complex package of regulations, adopted by City Council April 3 and signed by Mayor Nickels on April 12, updates rules for the central office core and adjoining areas, including Denny Triangle and a portion of Belltown. Major changes in the new regulations include:
- greater heights (unlimited for the main office core)
- greater maximum floor area - required narrow widths for upper levels of residential towers
- a new program for market-rate housing to contribute to affordable housing
- a new program allowing greater development for environmentally sustainable construction (LEED silver)
- greater transferable development rights for historic structures downtown
- tower spacing required in some downtown areas
The changes encourage residential housing in areas outside the main office core and greater office development in the office core. It is estimated that over the next 20 years the new regulations will generate over $100 million for affordable housing, a 60% increase over projections under current zoning.
It is projected that by 2024 Seattle will gain 100,000 new residents and 84,000 new jobs, with much of that growth going to the Center City area, which includes the downtown office area and surrounding nine neighborhoods.
The new zoning rules are an essential component of the vision for the Downtown commercial core and "Center City" and move Seattle forward on two major policy goals: promoting affordable housing and encouraging 'smart growth' in the city and the region. The changes provide strong incentives for building more residential units in the Center City as well as the potential for a significant increase in funding for affordable housing.
View the accepted Downtown Zoning Ordinance.
For more information about the new legislation: Contact: Dennis Meier, DPD Senior Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 684-8270.
October 4, 2010