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City news: Backyard cottages meeting, Design Review Board positions open, parklets and streatery applications

Councilmember Mike O’Brien is hosting a Lunch & Learn with the Department of Planning and Development to talk about increasing production of backyard cottages. The lunch is from 12-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at City Hall in Council Chambers, 600 4th Ave. The meeting will feature backyard cottage owners discussing their experiences of permitting and construction. DPD staff will discuss policy options that could address some of the common difficulties property owners face in building a cottage, in anticipation of legislation to be drafted early next year.

Seattle’s Design Review Boards need a total of five new members starting next spring, including a community representative for the Northwest Design Review Board. The volunteer positions begin on April 4, 2016, when retiring board members’ terms expire.

To be considered for appointment, send an application, cover letter and resume by Dec. 14 to Lisa Rutzick at [email protected].

Applicants should have:

  • Knowledge of, or interest in architecture, urban design and the development process
  • The ability to evaluate projects based on the City’s design guidelines
  • The ability to listen and communicate effectively at public meetings
  • A passion for design and community development, and
  • The ability to work well with others under pressure. Prior experience with community or neighborhood groups is a plus.

Board members must live in the city. Following appointment, the local residential interests’ representative must act as an ambassador to at least one community group or association (e.g. community council) that operates within the board district.

Board members should expect to work 12-15 hours a month attending and preparing for board meetings, which are held twice a month in the evenings. Board members are expected to attend at least 90 percent of the meetings.

Seattle Department of Transportation is making it easier for businesses and community groups to host a parklet or streatery by now accepting applications year-round.

Parklets and streateries are small-scale open spaces built within a few on-street parking spaces and are an effective way to provide community-oriented gathering places while supporting economic vitality in Seattle’s commercial districts.

Since 2013, parklets have been transforming the streets of Seattle, by creating vibrant community amenities and neighborhood gathering spaces for all people to enjoy. In early 2015, SDOT expanded the idea of parklets by developing the Streatery Pilot Program, allowing restaurants and bars to build parklets that provide extra café seating space during business hours and public open space when businesses are closed.

Interested groups are encouraged to submit applications during the fall and early winter to allow enough time to design, permit, and construct their spaces by the spring to take advantage of Seattle’s scarce sunny weather. Interested in building a parklet or streatery for your neighborhood? All the information you need on how to apply can be found on our website.