Environmentally Critical Areas Update

The City’s updated environmentally critical areas regulations became effective on May 15, 2017. In addition to the updated regulations, SDCI has updated DR 5-2007, Great Blue Heron Management Plan. SDCI published the proposed Director’s Rule on Thursday, May 25, in the Land Use Information Bulletin. SDCI is taking comment on the updated Director’s Rule through June 9, 2017. Please send your comment to:

Director
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

For additional information about the updated environmentally critical areas regulations please visit our Environmentally Critical Areas Code Update website.

Environmentally Critical Areas Update

The Seattle City Council passed the Environmentally Critical Areas Ordinance on April 14, 2017. The effective date of the updated Environmentally Critical Areas regulations will be May 15, 2017. The updated regulations include:

  • Revised Administrative Conditional Use criteria for clustering houses near steep slopes;
  • Removal of SEPA review for projects that required SEPA only because the development was in an environmentally critical area.
  • Increase in buffer size for Category III wetlands; and
  • Updated TIPs and Director’ Rules to include information regarding the updated regulations.

A report explaining the changes and the legislation is available on our ECA Code Update website.

We provided a briefing to the PLUZ committee on November 29, 2016, the public hearing was held on December 6, 2016 and the PLUZ committee voted on the Ordinance on January 19, 2017. Check out the PowerPoint presentation and the briefing memo to find out more about what we talked about.

Additionally, the briefing, public hearing, and committee discussion and vote can be viewed on the City Council PLUZ Committee webpage.

Environmentally Critical Areas Update

In January 2017, City Council approved updated environmentally critical areas (ECA) regulations. Those updates, including a report by our Director explaining the changes, are available on our ECA Code Update website.

The Seattle City Council will be amending the Environmentally Critical Areas Ordinance to correct the effective date of the regulations. The original ordinance incorrectly required the Department of Ecology’s approval of the entire ordinance. The Department of Ecology approval is only needed for the sections of the ordinance that amend the Shoreline Master Program. City Council is expected to approve this amendment in the middle of March and the effective date of the new Environmentally Critical Areas is expected to be the middle of April.

We provided a briefing to the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning (PLUZ) committee on November 29, 2016, the public hearing was held on December 6, 2016 and the PLUZ committee voted on the Ordinance on January 19, 2017. Check out the PowerPoint presentation and the briefing memo to find out more about what we talked about.

Additionally, the briefing, public hearing, and committee discussion and vote can be viewed on the City Council PLUZ Committee webpage.

Environmentally Critical Areas Public Hearing

The Seattle City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee has scheduled a public hearing to take comments on the proposed Environmentally Critical Areas (ECA) updated regulations. The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at the PLUZ committee meeting that begins at 9:30 a.m. in the City Council Chambers located on the 2nd Floor of City Hall at 600 Fourth Avenue.

To find out the time of the ECA public meeting the Council’s PLUZ Committee agenda will be posted a few days prior to December 6, 2016.

The Mayor’s recommended updates to the ECA regulations, including a report by our Director explaining the changes, are available on our ECA Code Update website.

We provided a briefing to the PLUZ committee on November 29, 2016. Check out the PowerPoint presentation and the briefing memo to find out more about what we talked about.

Additionally, the briefing can be viewed on the City Council PLUZ Committee webpage.

 

Reminder: Time to Apply for Grading Season Extension

The rainy season is rapidly approaching, which means it’s time to think about whether you will be doing any grading between November 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. If your project includes Geotechnical Special Inspections AND if your project is in an environmentally critical area or involves a large quantity of earth-moving, check the Geotechnical Special Inspection assignment letter we sent you shortly after your permit was issued.

If you see an item called “Monitor Grading Season Restriction” on the assignment letter, this means that grading between November 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 is prohibited unless you apply for and receive a Grading Season Extension. For smaller projects in environmentally critical areas, there may be a note in the assignment letter allowing you to follow the additional measures for wet weather work shown on the approved plan set in lieu of a formal grading season extension application.

For information on how to apply for a Grading Season Extension, see Director’s Rule 26-2015. This year, you must submit an application online through your SDCI Project Portal at http://web6.seattle.gov/DPD/eplan/. We will not accept paper applications. We may take up to two weeks to review your application. Please note that your permit must be issued before we can process a grading season extension application. Contact the on-call geotechnical engineer at (206) 684-8950 if you have questions about submittal requirements or whether you need an extension.