Last fall, the Seattle City Council adopted a requirement for developers to provide information to neighbors earlier than previously. The new Early Community Outreach for Design Review requires developers to contact close neighbors before the first public design review meeting. It went into effect July 1.
This requirement only affects development projects that go through Design Review, which are typically new multifamily, commercial, or industrial buildings above a certain size.
To involve community members, developers will do three types of early outreach – print, in-person, and digital. Their outreach may take the form of a mailed flyer, community meeting, online survey, or a website, to name a few. Once the outreach is complete, the developer provides documentation sharing the results with DON. If the developer meets the requirements, DON submits the information on behalf of the developer to Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) so that the project can move forward with Design Review. The community can access a summary of information collected during outreach on SDCI’s website.
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) administers this program in partnership with SDCI. DON staff advises developers on their outreach plans, if requested, as well as provides several resources and tools for developers on its Early Community Outreach for Design Review webpage. The webpage also shares a listing of all projects conducting early outreach with project locations, descriptions, and contact information, as well as an online calendar of outreach events.