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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Members sought for Seattle's Design Review Boards

10/25/2012  12:00:00 AM
Bryan Stevens  (206) 684-5045

Members sought for Seattle's Design Review Boards

Mayor Mike McGinn is looking for qualified candidates to fill nine upcoming openings on the city of Seattle's Design Review Board. The volunteer positions will be available April 4, 2013 when retiring board members' terms expire.

Applications will be accepted for the following nine board positions:

Northeast Design Review Board
- community representative

Southwest Design Review Board
- residential representative
- design professional representative

East Design Review Board
- development representative
- community representative

Downtown Review Board
- development representative

West Design Review Board
- design professional representative
- residential representative
- development representative

Application forms are available from or from The deadline for submitting an application is December 10, 2012.

Board members are appointed by the Mayor and City Council and serve two-year terms. Members serve on one of seven boards that review projects in the city's major geographic districts. Each board is composed of five members who represent:

-- design professions
-- development interests
-- general community interests
-- local business interests
-- local residential interests

Applicants should have:

  • knowledge of, or interest in, architecture, urban design and the development process;
  • the ability to evaluate projects based on the city's design guidelines;
  • the ability to listen and communicate effectively at public meetings;
  • a passion for design and community development; and
  • the ability to work well with others under pressure. Prior experience with community or neighborhood groups is a plus.

Board members must live in the city. Following appointment, the local residential interests representative must act as an ambassador to at least one community group or association (e.g. community council) that operates within the board district. Similarly, following appointment the local business interests representative must act as an ambassador to at least one business group or association (e.g. chamber of commerce) that operates within the board district. Acting as an ambassador is often facilitated if the board member lives or works within the district he or she is serving, but residency in a district is not a requirement to serve as a local representative.

Board members should expect to work 12-14 hours a month attending and preparing for board meetings, which are held twice a month, in the evenings. Board members are expected to attend at least 90 percent of the meetings.

Applications will be accepted for positions other than those listed above and kept on file for consideration for future openings.

The Design Review Program was established in 1994 to provide an alternative to prescriptive zoning requirements and foster new development that better responds to the character of its surroundings. Boards evaluate the design of development projects based on citywide and neighborhood-specific design guidelines. The boards review mixed-use developments, multifamily housing, and commercial projects above a certain size threshold. For more information on the Design Review Board and the city's Design Review Program, visit

To be considered for appointment to one of the design review boards, please send an application, a cover letter and resume by December 10, 2012 by email to:

Lisa Rutzick

Email applications are preferred, as electronic documents facilitate file sharing among the selection committee. If emailing is not an option, applicants can send their applications via U.S. mail to:

Lisa Rutzick
Design Review Board
Department of Planning and Development
City of Seattle
700 – 5th Ave, Suite 1800
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, Washington 98124-4019

You may download an application at or email to receive a copy.

For other information, please contact Lisa Rutzick, Design Review Program Manager, at 206-386-9049 or via e-mail at, or Alan Justad, 233-3891, or via email at

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