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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Members sought for Seattle’s Design Review Boards

11/4/2013  2:45:00 PM
Bryan Stevens  (206) 684-5045

Seattle - Mayor Mike McGinn is looking for qualified candidates to fill 12 upcoming openings on the City of Seattle’s Design Review Boards. The volunteer positions will be available April 4, 2014 when retiring board members’ terms expire.

Ideal candidates are professionals in the design and development fields, who have proven skills and established careers. We are also seeking community and business leaders with an interest in shaping new development in their neighborhoods, and a passion for keeping Seattle a great place to live, work and play.

Applications will be accepted for the following 12 board positions:

Northeast Design Review Board

  • Design representative
  • Development representative

Northwest Design Review Board

  • Local residential representative
  • Development representative

West Design Review Board

  • Community representative

Southwest Design Review Board

  • Community representative

Southeast Design Review Board

  • Community representative
  • Development representative

East Design Review Board

  • Local business representative
  • Design representative

Downtown Design Review Board

  • Community representative
  • Local business representative

To be considered for appointment, please send an application, cover letter and resume by December 10, 2013to Lisa Rutzick at

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

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

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

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 profession
  • 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 representatives 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 representatives 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 business representative.

Board members should expect to work 12-15 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.

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:

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


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