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Columbia City
Columbia City Landmark District FAQs

1. What is the Columbia City Application Review Committee and City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board?

2. What must be reviewed by the Review Committee and Board?

3. When are Review Committee and Board Meetings?

4. What is a Certificate of Approval?

5. What is the Approval Process?

6. How Do I Schedule for Review Committee Consideration?

What is the Columbia City Application Review Committee and City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board?

The Columbia City Application Review Committee and the City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board are charged with maintaining the historic character of Columbia City, ensuring that the architectural integrity and aesthetics of the buildings and landscape are preserved. The Review Committee consists of five members, two that are appointed by the Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Board and three that are appointed by the Chair of the Columbia City Business Association. The Review Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Board. The Board is responsible for the final review and approval of applications for Certificates of Approval for any change to the exterior appearance of buildings or structures, streets, sidewalks, and other public spaces in the District.

2. What must be reviewed by the Review Committee and Board?

The following changes require a Certificate of Approval to be issued by the Landmarks Preservation Board before the City will issue any permits:

  • Any change to the outside of any building or structure
  • Installation of any new sign or changes to existing signs
  • Installation of any new awning or canopy
  • Any change to the interior that affects the exterior
  • New addition, construction and/or remodel
  • Any change in public rights-of-way or other public spaces, including parks and sidewalks
  • Demolition of any building or structure
  • Exterior painting

3. When are Review Committee and Board Meetings?

The Review Committee typically meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 4:00 PM at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska Street. The meeting schedule can be found under the Meeting Schedules, Agendas/Minutes link on this page. The Board conducts regular meetings at 3:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4060. All meetings are open to the public.

4. What is a Certificate of Approval?

A Certificate of Approval is an official notice of approval issued by the Columbia City Review Committee and the City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. To get your project reviewed and approved, a completed Application for Certificate Approval needs to be submitted to the Landmark District Coordinator.

A Certificate of Approval is not a permit. An applicant is still responsible for obtaining relevant permits after receiving approval from the Review Committee and Board. The Department of Planning and Development issues permits after an applicant has received a Certificate of Approval.

5. What is the Approval Process?

Step 1
Submit a completed application and the appropriate fee to the Historic Preservation Program, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, PO Box 94649 Seattle, WA 98124-4649.

Step 2
The Landmark District Coordinator will review the application and plans for completeness and compliance with the regulations.

Step 3
After the application is determined to be complete, it will be placed on the agenda for the next public meeting of the Review Committee.

Step 4
The Review Committee will recommend to the Landmarks Preservation Board whether to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application.

Step 5
The Landmarks Preservation Board Coordinator will schedule your application to be reviewed by the Board at one of its meetings.

Step 6
Either a Certificate of Approval or a Letter of Denial will be issued.

Step 7
You or any interested party of record may appeal a decision to the City Hearing Examiner within 14 days of the issuance of the Certificate of Approval or Letter of Denial.

6. How Do I Schedule for Review Committee Consideration?

If you are starting a new business or service, changing the location of your business within the District, or making physical changes to the outside of your property, building, or business, call the Columbia City Landmark District Coordinator at (206) 684-0226 for assistance in reviewing your plans and in scheduling for Committee review.


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