Neighborhood Parking Ordinance Effective May 14

On April 2, the City Council approved legislation with several changes to parking rules in the Land Use Code. The amendments provide more flexible off-street parking options and clarify “frequent transit service” areas where parking is not required. The rules will go into effect Monday, May 14.

Highlights of the ordinance:

  • Allows easier flexible use of off-street parking spaces in buildings, creating more options for daytime and overnight neighborhood parking for shoppers and residents, in Lowrise 3, Midrise, Highrise and most commercial zones
  • Clarifies rules that allow reduced parking in areas near frequent transit service
  • Eliminates minimum parking for income-restricted housing citywide
  • Eliminates minimum parking for institutional uses such as daycares in urban villages with frequent transit service
  • Increases bicycle parking requirements citywide, with more design guidance for secure and accessible bicycle parking facilities
  • Requires new parking stalls to be a minimum size
  • Allows park-and-ride parking within residential or mixed-use building garages
  • Requires “unbundling” of parking fees from housing and commercial rent, so renters don’t have to pay for parking if they don’t need it

These new rules support reducing costs for providing housing, since parking is one of the most expensive parts of building new housing. This fulfills the Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) recommendations. Creating more flexible parking choices will help us make the best use of all neighborhood parking resources as we grow. The proposal also supports more people to choose options such as bicycles, mass transit, and car-share to move around the city, fulfilling transportation and environmental quality goals.

If you have comments or questions, please contact:

Gordon Clowers
(206) 684-8375

Council Approves Changes to Design Review Program

On October 2, the City Council adopted legislation to change the City’s Design Review program. The changes will improve the overall function of the program by enhancing the efficiency and predictability of project reviews, improving dialogue among project stakeholders, and making the program more transparent and accessible to the public and project applicants. In addition, the changes will focus Design Review on the development projects most likely to influence the character of a neighborhood, and reduce the costs of building housing.

Key changes will:

  • Require early community outreach by the project applicant before starting the design review process
  • Simplify the thresholds that determine if design review is required
  • Raise the thresholds that determine if full board review is required
  • Apply lower thresholds in areas rezoned from single-family to a higher density zone over the next few years
  • Allow affordable housing projects to go through an administrative design review process

Most of the changes will go into effect on July 1, 2018, to allow for adequate time to prepare for implementation.

Read the details of the legislation on the City Clerk’s webpage for Council Bill 119057. Learn more about the project on our project webpage.

For questions about how the changes to the program may impact a specific project, please contact Lisa Rutzick at 206-386-9049 or For general questions about the changes, you may also contact Christina Ghan at 206-233-3749 or