Project Status: Completed
Passed by City Council July 2012
The City Council sponsored legislation that amended Seattle’s regulations for processing land use permits. The amendments streamlined administration of the Land Use Code and update methods for public notice. Many of the amendments were technical corrections (such as correcting cross-references, combining sections that address the same topics, and updating grammar and format). The legislation also expanded public notice requirements and clarified procedures for Council land use decisions.
The main changes in the bill:
- Added an option for notices and other documents related to permit applications to be sent by e-mail when the recipient provides an e-mail address;
- Removed the requirement that notice of land use permits be posted at the downtown offices of City departments;
- Added a requirement for mailed notice of application for Type IV quasi-judicial Council land use decisions such as rezones to property owners and occupants within 300 feet. Also added this requirement for Type V legislative actions that affect a specific site, such as the waiver of setback standards for a renovated City fire station;
- Added specific requirements for notice of public meetings about proposed land use projects, such as Design Review Board meetings;
- Added failure to pay past-due permit fees as a reason to delay further permit processing or to suspend or revoke a permit;
- Changed who may appeal a Hearing Examiner recommendation to the City Council for rezones and other quasi-judicial decisions to those who provided comments either to DPD or the Hearing Examiner earlier in the process;
- Clarified the rules for land use permit expiration; and
- Changed the default expiration period for Council land use decisions from two to three years, which is the same as allowed for Master Use Permits.
To carry out the changes in the proposed bill, the Council also sponsored amendments to the City Council Rules for Quasi-Judicial Proceedings, which were adopted by a companion resolution. The amendments:
- Reflected the code changes proposed in the legislation;
- Provided procedures for Council review of amendments to Property Use and Development Agreements for contract rezones, and of requests to extend Council land use decisions;
- Specified the process for a Council request for clarification of an appeal; and
- Clarified the process and criteria for applying for intervenor status in an appeal.