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We advise the Mayor and the City Council on the design of City funded capital projects, projects that seek permanent or long-term use of a right of way, major transportation projects, or plans and policies that have an impact on the public realm.

We welcome the public to our meetings and to follow projects under their review. The two best ways to stay involved and engaged on projects under SDC review is to attend a meeting or track the project on our website.

Attend a Meeting

We hold our meetings on the first and third Thursdays of every month in the Boards and Commissions Room, located on lower level 2 (L2) of Seattle City Hall at 600 4th Ave. Our meetings generally begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. Please click here to see the agenda of upcoming meetings. We post our agenda approximately 7 days prior to the meeting. If you are interested in an upcoming meeting, contact us at (206) 615-1349 or at SDC_Administration@seattle.gov.

When you attend a SDC meeting, we provide a time for members of the public to comment. We ask people to sign up when they attend a meeting - we use a sign in sheet to keep track of attendance and to see who wants to speak. We also use this sheet to send notice of future meetings on the project you came to follow. We generally limit comments to two minutes per person. When there are larger groups of people who want to speak on the same topic, we ask that the group appoint a spokesperson to speak for the group. We give groups up to five minutes for public comment.

When making comments, make sure that the comment is relevant to the project and what the commission reviews. For example, we may look at the location and design of a City parking facility, but we generally don't evaluate the traffic impacts of the facility. We rely on the applicant or the City to let the commission know about those impacts and how they have been addressed in the design of the project. There are also many times that we are reviewing a project that has not applied for City permits. We want to make sure that the right person here at the City considers your comments. If you have a question about the scope of the commissions review on any project, contact us before a meeting and we'll help you get to the right person. Click here if you want to get information from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection about required permits on a project.  

If you can't attend a commission meeting, you can also submit written comments on a project. The SDC appreciates written comments, especially if you can get them to us before the scheduled meeting. By submitting them early, it gives commissioners more time to consider your comments when they are reviewing the project at the meeting. If you want to submit comments in writing, please contact SDC staff at 206-615-1349. You can also email them to us at SDC_Administration@seattle.gov.

You can also attend public meetings run by City departments for specific City-funded projects. City departments that are undertaking new projects - called Capital Improvement Program projects - often hold community meetings to get feedback during the initial concept and design phases. The City often holds these meetings before, or even concurrent with, the Design Commission review. The most common City departments that bring projects to the Design Commission are:

Follow a project

Follow the progress of a project on our website, which includes presentations and minutes of current and former projects. Depending on the status of the project, it could be in our current projects or archives. Click here to see our project webpages for current projects. If you don't see the project, it may have already been sent to archives. Click here to see our archive pages.

We try to post the final presentation on a project within 48 hours following the project. Each project has a webpage, so you can access all presentations on any specific project. It generally takes a month to get meeting minutes approved. Once they are approved they are posted to the project page.

We are recruiting to fill two upcoming vacancies on the Seattle Design Commission. One vacancy is for a licensed Architect and the other for a licensed Professional Engineer. Both positions will start their terms in March 2018. Click here for more information.

Join the Commission

The Seattle Design Commission was established by City Ordinance 96897 in 1968 to ensure that public facilities and projects within the civic environment incorporate high standards of design quality and efficiency. It is a nonpartisan, advisory body to City Council. It consists of 10 members who are professionals in the following fields:

  • Architecture
  • Fine Art
  • Urban Planning
  • Environmental or Urban Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Civil Engineering

We recruit commission members from professional organizations, such as:

  • The American Institute of Architects, Seattle Chapter
  • The American Planning Association, Puget Sound Section of the Washington State Chapter
  • The American Society of Landscape Architects
  • The Consulting Engineers Council of Washington
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers
  • The Seattle Arts Commission

The Seattle Design Commission also participates in the City’s Get Engaged Program, which provides young professionals under the age of 30 an opportunity to serve on a City Board or Commission for a one-year term. You can get more information about Get Engaged by contacting the Mayor’s Boards and Commission coordinator at (206) 684-4000 or BoardsCommissions@seattle.gov.

If you are interested in serving on the commission, please contact:

Michael Jenkins
Design Commission Director
(206) 386-4024
michael.jenkins@seattle.gov