Sustainable Washington

3.5 Project Example #2

Land Use Case Study #2
Action: Downtown Zoning Ordinance LEED Incentive
Where: Seattle, WA
More info:

Seattle City Hall, LEED Gold. Image from Levitt, Julia. “Seattle to the World: Seattle's Sustainable Building Policy.” WorldChanging, Seattle. October 7, 2008

In an effort to incentivize green building, the City of Seattle adopted a downtown zoning ordinance for projects to build to LEED Silver rating standards in exchange for greater height or density bonuses. In addition to providing sustainable site development, projects must contribute to affordable housing and other public amenities. The zoning changes also offer greater transferable development rights for historic structures.

The zoning change is an essential component of the vision for the city’s downtown commercial core and moves Seattle forward on two major policy goals: promoting affordable housing and encouraging 'smart growth' in the city and the region. The changes provide strong incentives for building more residential units within the downtown core in addition to the increasing funding for affordable housing.

3.5 Land Use | Table of Contents