|After over 20 years of going to "DCLU"
for a permit, Seattleites may soon find themselves going to
This change in tradition is proposed as the result of the
Department of Design, Construction and Land Use's changing
roles and responsibilities and the resulting need to better
clarify the services they offer to customers and the public.
The new name being proposed--"Department of Planning
and Development"--reflects the expansion of the department's
mission in 2002, with the addition of long-range planning
functions and staff, and acknowledges the City Council's interest
in giving them a level of prominence commensurate with their
There are now several planning functions active at the department,
including the director and staff for the Seattle
Planning Commission, long-range planning staff responsible
for monitoring and amending the Comprehensive
Plan, the director and staff for the Seattle
Design Commission, CityDesign,
and the Code and Policy Development staff responsible for
the review and revision of the Seattle Land
Use Code and related environmental regulations.
If approved by the Council and Mayor, the name change will
be implemented with minimal expenditures, depleting existing
stock for most materials before ordering materials with the
new name, and combining the change with other needed updates
DCLU originated in the 1890's as simply the "Building
Department" and retained this name until 1980 when the
addition of land use review functions necessitated a new name--the
"Department of Construction and Land Use." The word
"design" was added to DCLU's title in 1999, when
the department's mission was expanded to confirm the value
the community places on high quality design.
For more information on DCLU's role in Seattle, visit the
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