Learn More

Review Committee vs Design Review Board

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Downloads

Dictionary of land use terms

FAQ

Design Review

Design review is a discretionary process for reviewing larger development proposals. The purposes of Design Review are to provide greater flexibility for developers, ensure higher standards of architectural design and provide a forum for public input.

DPD – Department of Planning and Development

DPD is the planning department of the City of Seattle. DPD oversees the city’s zoning code and reviews proposed developments for compliance with it. DPD also periodically makes changes to the zoning code and the long-range, Comprehensive Plan documents that describe how the city will grow decades into the future.

DRB - Design Review Board

The city is divided into seven geographic districts. Each district has its own designated Design Review Board, made up of volunteer members who are appointed by the Mayor and City Council. The 5 positions represent the following interests: design, community, residential, development and community.

EDG - Early Design Guidance

When an applicant submits a design to the city for review, an EDG meeting is scheduled with the Design Review Board for the district where the project is proposed.  The board and the public review the project and comment on it.  The board makes a recommendation to the Department of Planning and Development.  They can recommend approval, approval with specific design changes, or they can send the applicant back to redesign the project.  If this happens, another EDG meeting is scheduled to review the redesigned proposal. This repeats until the DRB is satisfied with the design.

FAR - Floor Area Ratio

Floor area ratios are used as a measure of the intensity of the site being developed. The ratio is generated by dividing the building area by the parcel area, being sure to use the same units. For example, a 5,000 square foot building on a 10,000 square foot lot would have an FAR of 0.5:1.  A 10,000sf building on that same lot would have an FAR of 1:1, and a 20,000sf building would have an FAR of 2:1.  A given floor area can be arranged in different ways on the site to produce shorter or taller buildings, or more or less lot coverage.

What is my property zoned?
The City of Seattle provides an interactive GIS map for quick viewing of land use and zoning designations. Zoom to the property you’re interested in, and select “detailed zoning” from the menu to the left. For more detailed property information, King County’s iMap tool provides additional levels of data.
What do Seattle’s Zoning Code Designations Mean?
The following documents are published by the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and development. They describe the kinds of development permitted in the different land use zones established by city code. Click the links below to explore Seattle’s land use zones:
What do Seattle’s Zoning Code Designations Mean?How does the development process works with the City of Seattle?
  • The following flow chart, excerpted from the DPD’s Client Assistance Memo #238 describes the process of design review in graphical form:

    [click to enlarge]

    flow chart

    What do the big white signs mean?

    The Department of Planning and Development places signs on properties to notify the public that someone has filed for a permit to make some kind of change to the property. Typically this means an applicant has filed for a change of zoning or for a permit to develop a new building on the site. DPD’s activity locator map provides a tool to look at your neighborhoods and see what permits have been applied for.
    Design review is triggered by the scale of the project. This differs by zone and type of project, as described by this table excerpted from the DPD’s Client Assistance Memo #2:
    design review thresholds
What do the big white signs mean?

 

The Department of Planning and Development places signs on properties to notify the public that someone has filed for a permit to make some kind of change to the property. Typically this means an applicant has filed for a change of zoning or for a permit to develop a new building on the site. DPD’s activity locator map provides a tool to look at your neighborhoods and see what permits have been applied for.
Design review is triggered by the scale of the project. This differs by zone and type of project, as described by this table excerpted from the DPD’s Client Assistance Memo #2:
design review thresholds

 

See upcoming events

Other Resources:

We can’t do everything!
Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 

 

Resource 1

About this Resource Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation