Design Review is the process by which a development proposal is evaluated for consistency with the applicable design standards, usually related to the site layout or building design.
The City currently has two special districts with their own set of design standards, in addition to a more general design standards document that applies to the rest of the city. Those special districts are the Historic District and the Pilchuck District. A third special district, the Midtown District, is currently in the planning process and when adopted, is likely to have its own design standards as well.
All design standards documents can be accessed at the links below.
The design review process is generally in coordination with a permit for new construction or a proposal that alters a site or the exterior of a building. There is no additional cost associated with design review, but there are additional submittal materials that are necessary to make a determination. These are usually detailed elevations with materials identified. In some cases, color renderings or manufacturer's specifications are necessary.
In most areas of town, design review is conducted administratively by staff. In the Historic District and for projects that are proposed by a public agency, design review is conducted by the Design Review Board, an advisory body who makes a recommendation to the Planning Director. Minor projects are reviewed by an individual member of the Board (such as signs, fences, etc.). More significant development proposals are reviewed by the full Board at a public meeting.
How to Apply
If you are applying for a building permit, Site Development Plan, or another type of permit, simply include your design review submittal with your other application materials. All applications are made through the Self-Service Permit Portal.
If for some reason your design review proposal is not associated with another type of permit (you would like early feedback on a conceptual proposal, you are making changes to an existing permit, or your project does not require a permit), your application can be made directly to staff. Contact Planner Brooke Eidem to determine the best way to submit your materials for review.