2015 Seattle Energy Code Development

Seattle DCI will hold a couple of public meetings during in February to review proposed changes to the “Commercial Buildings” provisions of the 2015 Seattle Energy Code. (The City does not amend the residential portion of the code.)

If you’re interested in attending one of these meetings, please RSVP to duane.jonlin@seattle.gov as space is limited. We’ll email meeting attendees the agenda and proposed code changes before each meeting. The meetings are:

  • Thursday, February 4
    10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Seattle Municipal Tower, Room 1600
    700 5th
  • Friday, February 12
    10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Seattle Municipal Tower, Room 1610
    700 5th

 

Seattle’s Climate Action Plan requires significant improvements in energy efficiency for both new construction and existing buildings, so ideas for cost-effective code changes that would reduce building energy use are encouraged.

To submit your own code change proposals, or for more information, contact:

Duane Jonlin
Energy Code and Energy Conservation Advisor
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections
(206) 233-2781
duane.jonlin@seattle.gov

Proposed Updates to Stormwater Management Strategies

DPD transmitted legislation to City Council that proposes to amend the Land Use Code to encourage Low Impact Development (LID), a stormwater management strategy that mimics natural processes to reduce the amount of rainwater that runs off a site. LID strategies include bioretention, reducing impervious surfaces, and clustering buildings together to reduce site disturbance. In September 2015, DPD completed the SEPA review of the proposed legislation.

In undeveloped areas, most precipitation soaks into the ground, evaporates, and/or is absorbed by plants, and very little rainfall becomes surface runoff. Developed areas with pavement and rooftops have much more runoff, less infiltration, water quality challenges, and greater fluctuation in stream and lake levels. DPD has reviewed all land development rules and has proposed code amendments to remove barriers to LID. These amendments are a requirement of the City’s municipal stormwater permit from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Our proposed code changes will make it easier to incorporate LID strategies into a broad range of development types. The changes include modifying existing language to allow implementation of LID, listing LID as a public benefit item, and broadening definitions to include LID. None of the changes requires an applicant to implement any particular strategy; the Stormwater Code is the regulatory document containing stormwater management requirements.

The City Council is expected to introduce the legislation in late November.

Questions?

Nick Welch
(206) 684-8203
nicolas.welch@seattle.gov

Maggie Glowacki
(206) 386-4036
margaret.glowacki@seattle.gov

Proposed Updates to Stormwater Management Strategies

DPD transmitted legislation to City Council that proposes to amend the Land Use Code to encourage Low Impact Development (LID), a stormwater management strategy that mimics natural processes to reduce the amount of rainwater that runs off a site. LID strategies include bioretention, reducing impervious surfaces, and clustering buildings together to reduce site disturbance. In September 2015, DPD completed the SEPA review of the proposed legislation.

In undeveloped areas, most precipitation soaks into the ground, evaporates, and/or is absorbed by plants, and very little rainfall becomes surface runoff. Developed areas with pavement and rooftops have much more runoff, less infiltration, water quality challenges, and greater fluctuation in stream and lake levels. DPD has reviewed all land development rules and has proposed code amendments to remove barriers to LID. These amendments are a requirement of the City’s municipal stormwater permit from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Our proposed code changes will make it easier to incorporate LID strategies into a broad range of development types. The changes include modifying existing language to allow implementation of LID, listing LID as a public benefit item, and broadening definitions to include LID. None of the changes requires an applicant to implement any particular strategy; the Stormwater Code is the regulatory document containing stormwater management requirements.

The City Council is expected to introduce the legislation in late November.

Questions?

Nick Welch
(206) 684-8203
nicolas.welch@seattle.gov

Maggie Glowacki
(206) 386-4036
margaret.glowacki@seattle.gov

Minimum Density Requirements

On September 9, 2013, the Seattle City Council adopted rules that put in place minimum density requirements (in the form of a minimum floor area ratio (FAR)). These requirements apply to development on lots in a neighborhood commercial zone with a pedestrian designation in urban centers, urban villages, and light rail station areas. The rules were passed on an interim basis.

On May 29, 2014 we published a full draft of our proposed code adjustments for
Minimum Density
. We also published a notice of a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) on the proposed rules, as part of the required State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. These documents are available for public review on our project webpage.

The SEPA comment period runs through June 12, 2014. Please e-mail your comments about the proposed changes to aly.pennucci@seattle.gov by June 12 if you want them to be included during the formal SEPA comment period.

The purpose of this legislation is to

  • Foster compact, vibrant, pedestrian-oriented business districts that serve the needs of local residents
  • Encourage a level of development that fulfills the City’s Comprehensive Plan goals and responsibilities under the Growth Management Act
  • Allow flexibility for a range of uses and building arrangements on the lot
  • Promote the urban design and pedestrian-oriented goals of neighborhood commercial zones

If you have questions about this topic, please contact:

Aly Pennucci, Senior Planner
(206) 386-9132
aly.pennucci@seattle.gov