Design Review

See also: 

Shaping Seattle: Buildings photo has the Shaping Seattle: Buildings logo, a silhouette of the Seattle skyline, with the text "What's Shaping Seattle? Find out on our new map!" and a link to the map.


Our Design Review Program and its boards review private development projects in Seattle. We review multiple aspects of a building and its site, including some of the following:

  • The overall appearance of the building
  • How your proposal relates to adjacent sites and the overall street frontage
  • How your proposal relates to unusual aspects of the site, like views or slopes
  • Pedestrian and vehicular access to the site
  • Quality of materials, open space, and landscaping

We hold public meetings for full Design Review that includes review by City staff and the Design Review Boards. Our review process includes an opportunity for public comment and involvement. You may request a "departure" from the Land Use Code as part of your proposal. Be sure to consult the design guidelines that apply specifically to your project.


Greenfire Campus - a Great Design Review Example

Design Review Great Examples - Greenfire Campus is one example you'll find in our gallery.

Design Review Program Improvements

Our Design Review Program Improvements effort is underway to identify, evaluate, and implement organizational, structural, and procedural changes to revamp and refresh our Design Review Program. Visit our Design Review Program Improvements page for additional information about the open houses and to sign up for email updates.

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  • Visit our Applicant Services Center
    700 5th Avenue, 20th floor
    M, W, F: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    T, Th: 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    (arrive before 2:00 p.m. for walk-in service)