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Citywide Design Guidelines Update

We're updating our Citywide Design Guidelines to reflect design review best practices.
Making design guidelines easier to use, more responsive to current neighborhood conditions and urban design trends, and reflective of design review best practices.
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What Is Happening Now?

On December 16, 2013, the City Council approved revised Seattle Design Guidelines and 18 sets of revised neighborhood-specific design guidelines. The revised guidelines:

  • Bring the original citywide design guidelines forward to the present day, incorporating lessons learned from the development of neighborhood-specific guidelines and almost 17 years of projects reviewed under the Seattle Design Review Program
  • Update the format and clarify language in the neighborhood specific design guidelines to make it easier to seamlessly apply both sets of guidelines—citywide and neighborhood—to evaluate future development projects
  • Maximize the effectiveness of the guidelines as a tool in encouraging better design while keeping the guidelines clear and easy to use by applicants, Board members, and the public
  • Incorporate current best practices in design guidelines and address issues not contemplated during the drafting of the original design guidelines in 1993

Project Benefits

The Citywide Design Guidelines have been the cornerstone of the Design Review Program since 1994. Our updated guidelines will be easier to use to evaluate development projects.

The End Result

On December 16, 2013, the City Council approved revised Seattle Design Guidelines and 18 sets of revised neighborhood-specific design guidelines.

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