As Affordable Housing Shrinks in Seattle, Permitting Delays Keep Apartment Projects in Limbo for Months
Katherine Khashimova Long details how permitting delays are holding up apartment construction in Seattle.
Citywide, in 2019 projects that didn’t require design review waited on average 430 days to receive a land-use permit, up from 272 days in 2014, the city data showed. For developments requiring design review, the process has similarly stretched, from 316 days in 2014 to a peak of 519 days last year.
The number of times the city asked developers to go back to the drawing board to incorporate design changes is also on the rise, from a low of 2.7 in 2012 to 3.7 this year, according to the city.
Meanwhile, the greater Seattle area is short an estimated 156,000 units of affordable housing, according to a King County task force.
Projects like Cubix, Morefield said, want to help alleviate that backlog.
“I’m literally trying to put housing online,” he said. “And the thing that’s holding up my project is the city.”
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