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Share your thoughts on Early Community Outreach for Design Review

illustration of Seattle map

We’ve heard from communities that earlier outreach around development for new multifamily homes and other buildings would improve how Seattle handles new growth. To that end, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) and Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) have partnered on developing SDCI Director’s Rule 4-2018/DON 1-2018, Early Community Outreach for Design Review.

The proposed rule expands on a new requirement that all projects going through Design Review must conduct community outreach before beginning the early design guidance (EDG) process. It establishes:

  • what constitutes a community outreach plan, and
  • how to document compliance with the community outreach requirements.

The proposed rule builds on a staff draft that was shared in August 2017, to coincide with Seattle City Council’s deliberation on the Design Review legislation.


The new requirement for early community outreach was adopted by City Council as part of Ordinance No. 125429 in October 2017. It will go into effect on July 1, 2018.

Other changes to the Design Review program that will go into effect on July 1 include changes to the thresholds that determine which projects are required to go through Design Review and what type of Design Review would be required. Read a summary of the changes here.

With this Rule, we expect to see early engagement between neighbors and developers, but before it moves forward, we’d like to hear your thoughts.

Information Available

For more information about the changes to the Design Review program that were adopted in October 2017, please visit SDCI’s project webpage and the City Clerk’s webpage for Council Bill 119057.

We’ve also put together some Examples of Community Outreach Plans for Design Review as a resource to help applicants understand the requirements in the proposed Rule.

For more information about the Design Review program, please visit:

How to Comment

If you want to provide feedback on the proposed Director’s Rule, please submit your comments in writing by Monday, May 21st via email at or postal mail at:

Department of Construction and Inspections
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019


For general questions about the proposed Director’s Rule, you may also contact:

For questions about how the new requirements in the proposed Director’s Rule may impact a specific development project, contact:

  • Lisa Rutzick, SDCI, at 206-386-9049 or


Once the Director’s Rule is finalized, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods will host a publicly accessible web page with resources and will provide staff support to developers around Early Community Outreach for Design Review.