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SDCI offices are closed to the public.

Most services are available online through our Virtual Applicant Services Center. We offer limited access to our offices for scheduled public meetings.

Why Can the City Regulate How I Use My Property?

What Is It?

Our codes promote public health and safety and protect and preserve our quality of life.

  • The Land Use Code regulates how you use land and buildings in the City of Seattle to ensure that a property is used in a way that is appropriate to the zone
  • Seattle is divided into residential, commercial, and industrial zones to reflect the historical use of those areas and to ensure new development is compatible with the existing uses
  • The Shoreline Master Program helps preserve our maritime history and public use and enjoyment of our waters, and protects our shorelines from inappropriate development
  • The Housing and Building Maintenance Code sets standards to keep buildings safe and livable, regulates maintenance for vacant buildings, and focuses on rental housing, including rules for when a landlord or tenant can end a rental agreement
  • Technical codes such as the Building Code, Electrical Code, Mechanical Code, and Side Sewer Code provide safety standards for structures
  • Codes relating to grading, stormwater, and environmentally critical areas protect both the built and natural environment from deterioration and inappropriate development

Rules to Follow

Our codes require that you:

  • Build only in a zone that is appropriate to your project
  • Obtain all permits required for your work
  • Build according to established code standards

Read the Code

View our complete list of codes.

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.