Seattle/King County Climate News 7.6.22

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Robin Briggs

Jul 6, 2022, 5:37:05 PM7/6/22


The Comprehensive Plan is entering the scoping phase. The One Seattle Plan identifies 5 different conceptual approaches, summarized below and discussed at length in this article in the Urbanist (see also the draft Displacement Risk Map). These are the approaches:

  • No Action. This scenario is mandated by the GMA and describes outcomes if no changes are made – business as usual. OPCD considers this the minimum amount for satisfying the regional growth requirements.

  • Focused.  This scenario would include new and expanded urban villages and/or new smaller neighborhood nodes.

  • Broad. This draft alternative would allow a wider range of low-scale housing options, like triplexes and fourplexes, in all Neighborhood Residential zones.

  • Corridor. This would allow a wider range of low-scale housing options only in corridors near frequent transit and amenities (i.e., along arterials).

  • Combined.  Distribution of housing would be a combination of alternatives 2, 3, and 4, resulting in more areas identified as appropriate for more housing and mixed-use development. Total amount of housing production in this alternative would be significantly larger than the other alternatives.

OPCD is looking for feedback on these options; are there other options to be considered? Should some of these options not be considered? What are the criteria which should be considered for choosing between options? Click here to submit comments on the options. The comment period closes July 25.

Seattle City Budget is forecasted to have a $117M deficit in the General Fund,  out of a total of $1.7B. The Mayor has directed city department directors to identify 3-6% cuts when submitting their 2023 budget requests. JumpStart revenues, by contrast are doing well. Alex Pedersen, in his recent newsletter, proposes raiding JumpStart funds to cover the budget deficit. Since Seattle's climate spending (as well as affordable housing money) comes from the JumpStart funding, this is essentially reducing spending in these areas in order to cover spending in other areas.


The State Building Code Council voted to move the new residential building codes for public comment and consideration. Residential building codes apply to new single-family homes, townhomes, and low-rise multifamily buildings of up to 3 stories tall. The new codes include requirements for:

  • Space heating using heat pumps, with allowance for use of electric resistance or fossil gas in very cold weather

  • Requires a heat pump system for hot water in one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses. Electric resistance is allowed for small water heaters and for systems integrated into heat pumps. 

  • Increased ventilation for gas stoves: Requires new homes and low rise multifamily buildings to install differentiated ventilation requirements for gas stoves.

It is expected that a set of public hearings will take place in the fall of 2022, with the SBCC voting to adopt final code updates before the end of the year. All updates to the commercial and residential energy codes will take effect in July 2023.

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