Vacant Buildings Code Updates - What & Why

What's Happening Now?

On November 19, 2018, City Council passed Council Bill 119407, which makes changes to SDCI's Vacant Building Monitoring program. Please contact our Code Compliance group at (206) 684-5700 for information on how we will implement the new rules. The new rules are scheduled to go into effect on June 1, 2019.

Previously, City Council passed Vacant Buildings legislation (Council Bill 118971) on September 5, 2017. The ordinance changed the Land Use Code and the Housing and Building Maintenance Code in order to respond to an increase in the problems associated with vacant buildings in the city. 

Vacant buildings, and the problems associated with them, have become increasingly common in neighborhoods throughout the city in the last few years. These buildings can be difficult to adequately maintain, and are often entered or inhabited without the owner’s permission. This can lead to greater fire risks, illegal drug use and other criminal activities, and other health and safety hazards for occupants, neighbors, and emergency services providers.

For more information about our vacant building regulations, see our Vacant Buildings Standards page and our Vacant Buildings summary page.

Project Goals

The ordinance:

  1. Helps ensure that vacant buildings are adequately secured and maintained
  2. Reduces the public health and safety risks associated with hazardous vacant buildings
  3. Gives property owners more flexibility to demolish vacant buildings

The End Result

The City Council adopted the vacant buildings legislation in September 2017. The legislation took effect on Monday, October 9, 2017.