Seattle Considering Expedited Design Review for Affordable Housing

An emergency order in April 2020 exempted affordable housing projects from the city of Seattle’s design review process. A new ordinance would allow affordable housing proposals there own path to approval for another two-year test period.

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November 22, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and city councilmembers Dan Strauss and Teresa Mosqueda have proposed an ordinance that would let affordable housing proposals skip public comments during city’s design review process.

“If passed, the bill would create a two-year test process where any major development project in the city could either choose to undertake a public review as is currently required in the full design review or partake in the administrative design review process that includes public feedback, but without public meetings,” according to an article by Spencer Pauley.

The change would enshrine a process expedition implemented on a temporary, emergency basis during the Covid-19 pandemic. “The exemption is set to expire on Dec. 30, over two years after it was established in April 2020 under the COVID-19 Civil Emergency that modified the land use permitting process,” adds Pauley.


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