Online Over-the-Counter Applications are Now Required

SDCI now requires online applications for all over-the-counter (OTC) applications. OTC applications are Single-Family/Duplex Furnace, Refrigeration, and Over-the-Counter Electrical permits. We issue your permits in 1 – 2 business days after you submit a complete application.

When we launched our new permitting system, all applications were supposed to be submitted online. Due to technical and process difficulties with the Seattle Services Portal and our new system, we continued to accept paper applications for applicants having difficulty applying online. We have resolved the system major problems and the Seattle Services Portal is now working. As we face an extremely high work load, we can no longer continue enter OTC applications manually. The application process is much more efficient when submitted through the customer-facing portal.

If you need assistance applying online, you can come into the Applicant Services Center. We have computers in the lobby that you can use to start your application.

If you need assistance using the portal, please visit the Help Center. You can find articles with step-by-step instructions for the most common customer tasks.

If you have questions about OTC applications, please email OTCPermits@seattle.gov.

Quicker Permitting Options for Voluntary Seismic Upgrades in Single Family Homes

SDCI is now permitting voluntary seismic upgrades designed by an engineer as a Subject-to-Field-Inspection (STFI) permit. This quicker permitting option is only available for single-family homes.  We require plan review for engineered earthquake home retrofit permits for buildings with multiple dwelling units or commercial spaces. We issue STFI permits over the counter on the day you apply if you apply in person, or within a few days if you apply electronically. Your plans will need to be stamped by an engineer, and include a location plan, foundation and framing plan, structural notes, and structural details designed by an engineer.

Earthquake Home Retrofit Permits, also known as Project Impact, are different from an engineered voluntary seismic upgrade. They use prescriptive plan sets, eliminating the need to hire a design professional to develop drawings. For an Earthquake Home Retrofit Permit, you can submit your plans as soon as you finish them. You do not need to schedule an intake appointment. We usually do our initial review of Earthquake Home Retrofit Permits in two weeks.

See our updated Earthquake Home Retrofit Permit webpage for more details.

If you have questions, please contact:

Jamie Anderson
(206) 615-0715
jamie.anderson@seattle.gov

Quicker Permitting Option for Single-Family Substantial Alterations

On October 1, 2017, we will begin issuing some single family substantial alteration projects as a Subject-to-Field-Inspection (STFI) permit. We often issue STFI permits on the same day you apply. To qualify for this new permit type, your project must meet both of the following criteria:

  • Your work must meet the limitations described in Tip 316, Subject-to-Field-Inspection Permits for structural or non-structural alterations, ground level one-story additions and/or dormer additions
  • The project must be considered a substantial alteration because the physical or economic life of the building is extended (Seattle Residential Code section R107.9)

We currently require plan review for all substantial alteration projects. We consider a single-family project to be a substantial alteration if it does one of the following:

  • Repairs a building with a damage ratio of 60 percent or more
  • Extends the physical or economic life of the building
  • Changes use to one within the scope of Seattle Residential Code from a use not from within the scope of Seattle Residential Code
  • Changes use of an accessory structure to another use
  • Changes use from single family or duplex to townhouse
  • Changes use to an adult family home or family home child care

You will also need to show seismic upgrades to the foundations and cripple walls throughout your house unless it was built new per the 1985 Uniform Building Code or a more recent code.  You may provide a design by a licensed engineer or you may use our prescriptive Earthquake Home Retrofit Plan Set, also known as Project Impact.  If you use an engineered design, your application must include structural plans prepared and stamped by a licensed engineer showing the required upgrades.  If you use Project Impact, you will need a separate permit for that work.  Your Project Impact permit must be issued before we issue your STFI, and the work must be completed before the final STFI inspection.

Substantial alteration projects require certain upgrades throughout the structure, including in areas where alterations are not planned.  You may need to upgrade:

  • Egress windows
  • Stairs
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Foundations and cripple walls
  • Unreinforced masonry chimneys

See the Seattle Residential Code section R107.9 for complete requirements.  Your building inspector will check to make sure that you have made all required upgrades to the house.

Questions may be directed to:

Jamie Anderson
(206) 615-0715
jamie.anderson@seattle.gov

Quicker Permitting Option for Single-Family Substantial Alterations

We currently require plan review for all substantial alteration projects.  We consider a single-family project to be a substantial alteration if it does one of the following:

  • Repairs a building with a damage ratio of 60 percent or more
  • Extends the physical or economic life of the building
  • Changes use to one within the scope of Seattle Residential Code from a use not from within the scope of Seattle Residential Code
  • Changes use of an accessory structure to another use
  • Changes use from single family or duplex to townhouse
  • Changes use to an adult family home or family home child care

 

On October 1, 2017, we will begin issuing some single family substantial alteration projects as a Subject-to-Field-Inspection (STFI) permit.  We often issue STFI permits on the same day you apply. To qualify for this new permit type, your project must meet both of the following criteria.

  • Your work must meet the limitations described in Tip 316 Subject-to-Field-Inspection Permits for structural or non-structural alterations, ground level one-story additions and/or dormer additions
  • The project must be considered a substantial alteration because the physical or economic life of the building is extended (Seattle Residential Code section R107.9)

You will also need to show seismic upgrades to the foundations and cripple walls throughout your house unless it was built new per the 1985 Uniform Building Code or a more recent code.  You may provide a design by a licensed engineer or you may use our prescriptive Earthquake Home Retrofit Plan Set, also known as Project Impact.  If you use an engineered design, your application must include structural plans prepared and stamped by a licensed engineer showing the required upgrades.  If you use Project Impact, you will need a separate permit for that work.  Your Project Impact permit must be issued before we issue your STFI, and the work must be completed before the final STFI inspection.

Substantial alteration projects require certain upgrades throughout the structure, including in areas where alterations are not planned.  You may need to upgrade:

  • Egress windows
  • Stairs
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Foundations and cripple walls
  • Unreinforced masonry chimneys

 

See the Seattle Residential Code section R107.9 for complete requirements.  Your building inspector will check to make sure that you have made all required upgrades to the house.

Questions may be directed to:

Jamie Anderson
(206) 615-0715
jamie.anderson@seattle.gov

Online Applications for Construction and Master Use Permits Applications Required April 4

As of April 4, 2016, all master use permit and construction permit applications that require plan review must be submitted for review online using the Seattle DCI Project Portal. The one exception to this is that applications for the “Early Design Guidance” phase of Design Review projects must still be submitted as paper applications, since our portal technology is not yet designed to accommodate these early pre-application plans. Projects that meet the criteria for STFI (Subject-to-Field-Inspection) may still be submitted on paper and in person at the Applicant Services Center.

We will not accept paper applications after April 4. Seattle DCI is making this change to streamline the application process, to increase the efficiency of permit reviews, and to reduce paper.

If you are unable to submit your construction application online, or if you have questions, please contact:

Steve Burns
(206) 684-7736
steve.burns@seattle.gov