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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: DPD Service Changes Coming

9/30/2010  8:35:00 AM
Bryan Stevens  (206) 684-5045

Effective October 18: Change in intake hours, application and information services

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has announced changes in services for applicants and the public.  The changes are in response to the continued slow down in the development sector, which has significantly reduced permit related revenue for the department and resulted in a series of layoffs since the beginning of 2009.  The latest round of layoffs takes effect October 1.  The service changes are scheduled to go into effect October 18.

DPD remains committed to providing quality service to its applicants and the public.  The reduced hours and reductions in free coaching services allow the department to balance its intake and review workloads, and to provide the full range of core services when open to the public.

Change in Hours Open to the Public

Hours open to the public will change for several of DPD’s applicant services and public information areas.
New Hours for Applicant Services Center (ASC), Plans Routing, Public Resource Center and Microfilm Library
(All of 20th Floor, plus Plans Routing area on the 21st Floor, Seattle Municipal Tower)

Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 8:00am to 4pm
Tuesday, Thursday – 10:30am to 4pm
Walk-ins advised to arrive by 2:00pm
NOTE:  ASC Main Phone 206-684-8850 will be answered directly during new ASC hours

All other DPD areas and services will continue regular hours, 8:00am to 5:00 pm

DPD will have a new online Permit Specialist Q&A to complement the existing online Land Use Q&A, and paid land use coaching sessions will be available in half-hour increments for prospective applicants.  Other changes include reduced free coaching and technical backup service.  DPD will continue to provide many other information services, including Online Tools, Online Coaching, and Client Assistance Memos (CAMs). 

Revised Coaching Services – Land Use and Permitting

  • New:  Paid Land Use Coaching appointments will now be available in half-hour increments. These coaching sessions are to discuss preliminary questions around the feasibility of a project and do not require a paid site visit.  For projects closer to application, Pre-submittal Conferences will continue to be available, which will continue to require a paid site visit prior to the conference.
  • New:  Free Permit Specialist Online Q&A for questions about single family zoning and permit process will be available shortly on DPD’s website.
  • Continue:  Free Land Use Online Q&A at:
  • Continue:  A senior planner will serve as technical back-up to the Permit Specialists providing free coaching for single family, small business and one-time applicants
  • Discontinue:  Free Land Use coaching at the ASC counter. 
  • Discontinue:  Land Use Planner screening in Master Use Permit and Construction intake appointments.
  • Discontinue:  Free Permit Specialist phone service for questions about single family zoning and permit process.
  • NOTE: For the two online Q&A services, the response goal will be two days, and will be monitored by staff.

Revised Coaching Services – Technical Codes

  • Continue:  Paid, voluntary Building, Energy and Mechanical Code pre-submittal conferences will continue to be made available.  Note: unlike the required pre-submittal conferences for atrium and highrise projects, fees for these applicant requested conferences will not apply to the subsequent permit after January 1, 2011. 
  • Discontinue:  Free Building, Energy and Mechanical Code Technical Backup phone service.

Ongoing Information Services
DPD provides an array of public information resources regarding permit processes and related codes that affect a development proposal.  Other services include:


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