Thursday, February 4, 2016

City's Permitting and Planning Offices Re-Organize Under New Name And Director logo

Several months ago, Mayor Murray signed an executive order yesterday calling for an all-new Department of Planning and Development under a new name. The long-time Director, Diane Sigamura, retired after 37 years in the position.

It is now called Seattle Department of Construction & InspectionsAnd DPD's City Planning division is now the Office of Planning & Community Development. Nathan Torgelson is Director overseeing both Departments.  City planners from the DPD, and the departments of transportation, parks and housing all work together in the new OPCD office.

The group has been working on several new initiatives. One is implementing a new system, called, Accela,  that will better track all permitting, code compliance, and property management processes.

"This is a huge and important undertaking for the department and will improve the efficiency in which you can track permits," Torgelson said.

The completion of the registration phase of the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) program and implementation of new tenant protections is also underway

Torgelson commented that "we are now a city of more renters than homeowners. Our goal is that these initiatives will improve the conditions in Seattle’s rental stock"

The Mayor said about the re-organizations that the new departments will act as "a single entry point to address community concerns and will work closely with the Department of Neighborhoods to gather input and ideas from neighbors."

Murray has said that Seattle is currently the country’s third-fastest-growing city and is on trac to permit 9,000 new housing units this year, 30 percent more than in 2014.

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