May Publication Updates




Director’s Rules




Proposed Director’s Rule for Community Outreach for Design Review

On May 4, SDCI published a proposed joint Director’s Rule with Department of Neighborhoods, for review and for public comment until May 21, 2018:

The proposed rule expands on the new requirement that all projects going through Design Review must conduct community outreach before beginning the early design guidance (EDG) process. It establishes:

  • What constitutes a community outreach plan
  • How to document compliance with the community outreach requirements

The proposed rule builds on a staff draft that was shared in August 2017, to coincide with Council deliberation on the Design Review legislation.


The new requirement for early community outreach was adopted by City Council as part of Ordinance No. 125429 in October 2017. It will go into effect on July 1, 2018.

Other changes to the Design Review program that will go into effect on July 1 include changes to the thresholds that determine which projects are required to go through Design Review and what type of Design Review would be required. Read a summary of the changes.

Comment on the Rule

If you want to provide feedback on the proposed Director’s Rule, please submit your comments in writing by Friday, May 21 to:

Information Available

For more information on the official publication of the Director’s Rule, please view the May 4 Public Notice. We’ve also put together some Examples of Community Outreach Plans for Design Review as a resource to help applicants understand the requirements in the proposed Rule.

For more information about the changes to the Design Review program that were adopted in October 2017, please visit SDCI’s project webpage and the City Clerk’s webpage for Council Bill 119057.

For more information about the Design Review program, please visit our Design Review website.


For questions about how the new requirements in the proposed Director’s Rule may impact a specific development project, please contact:

Lisa Rutzick, SDCI
(206) 386-9049

For general questions about the proposed Director’s Rule, you may also contact:

Christina Ghan, SDCI
(206) 233-3749

Susie Philipsen, DON
(206) 733-9283

Living Building Pilot Program Lives On

The City Council approved and the Mayor signed legislation that continues the Living Building Pilot Program (LBPP) until 2025. The law will become effective on November 6, 2016. The updated Living Building program legislation expands on a pilot program started in 2009 and increases the number of buildings that can participate to 20. To date, two projects have met the Living Building Pilot Program requirements, the Stone 34 project in Wallingford and the Bullitt Center building on Capitol Hill.

The legislation incorporates updates from the LBPP Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG met for over a year to recommend adjustments that maintain the rigor of the program while incentivizing Living Buildings. Incentives include a 15 percent increase in floor area ratio and a height increase up to 10 feet in zones with height limits of 85 feet or less, and 20 feet in zones with height limits greater than 85 feet. With the new legislation, these incentives are now granted outright for developers participating in the LBPP. This provides more certainty for project teams, in lieu of the previous program that allowed similar departure requests through the design review process. Projects must still be reviewed under the Design Review Program and cannot be located in a shoreline district.

Other changes include updates to the requirements for projects that decide to pursue the Petal Certification pathway: energy use must be 75 percent or less of targets established in the energy code, and potable water cannot be used for non-potable uses.

Draft Directors Rule: Green Building Standards

This legislation also included organizational changes to consolidate the disparate green building requirements into one chapter of the Seattle Land Use Code. A Draft Director’s Rule is now available for review and comment.

Certain development is required by the Land Use Code to meet a green building standard, such as development that includes extra floor area. “Green building standard” is defined in the code as a performance-based standard equivalent or superior to standards accepted in the building industry for high-level development strategies and practices that apply to a range of structure types, save resources, and promote renewable, clean energy.

The purpose of this Rule is to:

  • Establish the requirements for development to meet the green building standard, including a substantially equivalent or superior standard where applicable
  • Establish the requirements for documenting an owner’s commitment that a proposed development will meet a green building standard
  • Establish the requirements for demonstrating compliance with a commitment that the development will meet a green building standard


For more information, contact:

Jess Harris
(206) 684-7744


New Draft Director’s Rule About Flow Control Requirements and Combined Sewer Basins

The Director of Seattle Public Utilities is proposing rule DWW-430.1, Flow Control Requirements for Projects in Identified Public Combined Sewer Basins. The proposed draft and map exhibit for the SODO/Waterfront Basin are available on the Project Documents page of our Stormwater Code & Rules Update website.

We’re interested in your feedback. We will accept comments through May 14, 2015.

Please send us your comments about the proposed rule in writing to:

Mr. Ray Hoffman, Director
Attention: Brian Landau, Drainage and Wastewater Policy Advisor
Seattle Public Utilities
700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4900
P.O. Box 34018
Seattle, WA 98124-4018

If you have questions, please call (206) 684-5804.