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Major Institutions and Schools
Major Institution Citizen Advisory Committee
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FAQs
School Departures Advisory Committee
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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when a major institution decides to update a master plan?

When an institution decides to update a master plan:

  • The Institution informs the City of its intent to develop a new or revised plan.
  • The City and Institution jointly solicit volunteers to serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the plan development.
  • The City and Institution enter into a formal Memorandum of Agreement, appointing the members to the Citizens Advisory Committee and initiating a two-year process to complete a plan for adoption by the City Council.

What is DON’s role?

The Department of Neighborhoods:

  • Coordinates the outreach for solicitation of members to the Citizens Advisory Committee or the Standing Citizens Advisory Committee.
  • Prepares, on behalf of the City, the Memorandum of Agreement appointing the members to the Citizens Advisory Committee.
  • Provides all staff support to the Citizens Advisory Committee: assists with scheduling and conducting its meetings, including the preparation of all agendas and meeting summaries.
  • Assists the Committee in preparing its various reports to the Institution, DPD, the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner, and City Council.

What is DPD’s role?

The Department of Planning and Development:

  • Provides technical advice to the Citizens Advisory Committee on code related issues.
  • Oversees the preparation of the environmental reviews (usually a full Environmental Impact Statement) for the plan.
  • Prepares the formal City of Seattle staff recommendation to the Hearing Examiner and City Council.

How is an advisory committee selected?

Once a Major Institution informs the City of its intention to initiate the planning process, the following steps occur to select members of the Citizens Advisory Committee:

  • The Department of Neighborhoods and the Institution jointly advertise for volunteers to the Citizens Advisory Committee.  Advertisements are mailed to the area surrounding the institution, and are placed in local newspapers and in DPD’s Land Use Information Bulletin.
  • Volunteer applications are jointly reviewed by staff from the Institution and from the Department of Neighborhoods. A list of recommended volunteers is developed by the Institution and forwarded to the Director of the Department of Neighborhoods for transmittal to the City Council, via the Mayor.
  • The Mayor forwards a list of recommended appointments to the Citizens Advisory Committee to the City Council.  This is done as part of a Memorandum of Agreement, which sets forth the process for both development and review of the plan.

The Seattle City Council formally appoints the members of the Citizens Advisory Committee.

The process for appointment of a Standing Citizens Advisory Committee is similar except that the appointments are by the Director of the Department of Neighborhoods, with concurrence by the Mayor.

What is the difference between a CAC and a SAC?

A Citizens Advisory Committee or (CAC) is formed to assist with the development of a new or revised plan for a Major Institution.  One a plan is in force, a Standing Citizens Advisory Committee or (SAC) is formed to monitor development under the plan to assure that the various requirements of the plan are adhered to.

What happens after a major institution master plan is complete?

Once the plan is completed (adopted by the City Council), it becomes the legal document that sets zoning and development regulations for the institution.  The Institution is required to comply with all provisions of the plan and to report yearly concerning its development under the plan and progress towards meeting any other goals or conditions under the plan, including programs to reduce traffic impacts to the surrounding areas.  These reports are provided to the City and the Standing Advisory Committee.

Who is responsible for enforcing conditions placed on the master plan?

Three groups collaborate to review and enforce compliance with the adopted plans:

1) The Department of Planning and Development;

2) The Standing Citizens Advisory Committee; and

3) The Department of Neighborhoods. 

Of these, the primary responsibility lies with the Department of Planning and Development.  The Standing Citizens Advisory Committee is required to review and report on the annual report of the institution and on any suggested amendments to the plans.  These reviews are coordinated by the Department of Neighborhoods and provided to the Department of Planning and Development.

How do I get in touch with the people responsible for making decisions on the master plan process?

The Citizen’s Advisory Committees or Standing Citizens Advisory Committees can be contacted directly through the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.  Inquiries should be directed to:

Steve Sheppard
Major Institutions
Department of Neighborhoods City of Seattle
700 5th Avenue Suite 1700
PO Box 94649
Seattle WA 98124-4649

Email:  steve.sheppard@seattle.gov
Phone (206) 684-0302

How can I participate?

All Citizen’s Advisory Committee or Standing Citizens Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public; there is a formal public comment period at each meeting.   If you wish to be informed of the dates and times of meetings contact:

Steve Sheppard
Major Institutions
Department of Neighborhoods City of Seattle
700 5th Avenue Suite 1700
PO Box 94649
Seattle WA 98124-4649

Email: steve.sheppard@seattle.gov
Phone (206) 684-0302

The answers to the questions above are summaries only.  For more complete information on these issues, please reference the Seattle Municipal Code.

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