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Built by Blue Sound Construction, designed by MaKe Design, photos by Alex Hayden

SDCI Updates Seattle Council Members on Permit Backlog

Posted on Jul 17, 2019 in:
  • Permitting
  • Industry Issues
  • Advocacy

Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) Director Nathan Torgelson, recently made a presentation in front of the Seattle City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee to update councilmembers on the existing permit backlog and what the department is doing to address it.

Torgelson admitted that the transition to Acella, the new $3.1 million permitting system software, was problematic, negatively affected customers, and added to the already lengthy permit approval processing times. SDCI has implemented several fixes that will help streamline the last phase of the program integration. Builders will be happy to hear that the department is working to bring back the Shaping Seattle Mapping Application.

To address the permit backlog, the following actions are being taken:

  • Extension of existing sunset position, adding 13 term-limited contingent budget authority (CBA) positions, mostly in zoning review
  • Adjusted fees for 2019 to fill funding gaps
  • In Engineering Services Division, hiring is underway for building plan reviewers, structural plan reviewers, and permit specialists
  • Established core staffing reserve for eventual downturn

Contact Seattle Government Affairs Manager Aliesha Ruiz, 425.460.8204, with any questions.


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Photo courtesy Blue Sound Construction, builder; MaKe Design, architect; and Alex Hayden, photographer