The mayor's office and the Seattle City Council are working together over the next month to craft legislation that would streamline onerous city development regulations, which they say will encourage small businesses growth—such as home businesses and mobile vendors—and create up to 2,400 new construction and trade jobs citywide.
The city will be examining a range of options—such as eliminating parking requirements in specific sections of the city, allowing for commercial uses in multifamily zones, and expanding mobile food vending—recommended by a panel of developers, neighborhood activists, design professionals, labor leaders, and environmentalists to reduce the regulatory burdens that hinder job creation.
Here's the panel's full list of suggestions:
· Encourage Home Entrepreneurship
· Concentrate Street-Level Commercial Uses in P-Zones
· Reduce and Eliminate Some Parking Requirements
· Allow Small Commercial Uses in Multifamily Zones
· Expand Options for Accessory Dwelling Units
· Expand Mobile Food Vending and Temporary Uses
· Improve State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Implementation
The mayor's office says that reforms to the State Environmental Policy Act review process would expedite up to 40 new construction projects each year. Meanwhile, the Seattle Building Trades Council estimates that as many as 2,400 direct, skilled construction and trade jobs could be created.
“These recommendations highlight ways we can reduce red tape and encourage job growth while enhancing our commitment to the environment,” said McGinn in a statement released today. The mayor is soliciting public feedback on the recommendations, with the goal of transmitting a final legislative package to the city council in late August.
"Businesspeople are looking for clear, concise, and coordinated regulations so that they can invest in our neighborhoods with confidence and certainty about time lines," added Seattle City Council president Richard Conlin. "We can get the best results for job creation and development and for our environment and communities by providing that clarity and eliminating unnecessary duplication and process.”