Recent Council legislation makes temporary process changes to Major Institutions and Schools

North Seattle College Health Sciences and Student Resources Building

All of us have experienced quite a bit of change over these past weeks of COVID-19 as we navigate this rapidly developing crisis – for the City and our residents. But our job, as the City, is to take care of our community. In response to COVID-19, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), along with all City departments, have shifted and refocused our efforts toward supporting the needs of our community, especially our most vulnerable residents.

Following Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, Seattle City Council approved legislation on Monday, April 27, to keep key projects safely moving forward. The following explains the temporary changes to the meetings and process for School Departure Committees and for Major Institutions.

Changes for School Departure Advisory Committees

The legislation passed by Seattle City Council makes temporary school departure process changes by allowing experienced City staff to continue review processes, and it enlists community participation by replacing in-person meetings with electronic outreach for at least 180 days.

The school departure recommendation process typically requires in-person public meetings, which are prohibited due to public health mandates on social distancing and limited gatherings. While this ordinance is in effect, DON staff will accept written public comment and the Director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods will make a recommendation to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) taking into consideration the public’s comments.

We are always appreciative of community members who are willing to share their time and energy on issues that affect their communities.  During the time when the committees are not meeting, I encourage you to submit written public comments.

If you are interested in receiving updates on the departures process (public comment periods, recommendations, decisions, etc.), please go here and select the project you are interested in (“Sign up for E-mails” top right) and encourage your neighbors and neighborhood and school contacts to do the same. 

Changes for Major Institutions

The legislation passed by Seattle City Council suspends all Major Institution Advisory Committee meetings for 60 days. At the end of that time, meeting will be held virtually via on-line meetings or in-person when it is determined to be safe. Over the past two months, DON has been intensely working on connecting communities to resources and tools to help you through this time. The City has a comprehensive resource page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. For questions about COVID-19, please visit PHSKC’s website. Take care of yourself, your family, and your neighbor. We’ll get through this together.