Seeking Design Review Board Members

Seattle’s Design Review Program is seeking new volunteer board members to join the program in April 2017. Applications will be available in early November 2016 on both the Design Review website, as well as on the Building Connections blog. We are seeking individuals who are passionate about our built environment and civic engagement. Please spread the word to those who may be interested.

If you have any questions, contact:

Lisa Rutzick
(206) 386-9049

Members Sought for Seattle’s Design Review Boards

Mayor Ed Murray is looking for qualified candidates to fill five upcoming openings on the City of Seattle’s Design Review Boards. The volunteer positions will be available April 4, 2016, 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 vibrant city.

Applications will be accepted for the following board positions:

Northwest Design Review Board:

·         Community representative

Southeast Design Review Board:

·         Development profession representative

Northeast Design Review Board:

·         Local business representative

Downtown Review Board:

·         Design profession representative

·         Community representative


You may download an application or email to receive a copy.To be considered for appointment, please send an application, cover letter and resume by December 14, 2015 to Lisa Rutzick at

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 Program Manager
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.

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 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.


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


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
(206) 386-9049