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Major Institution Advisory Committees

Seattle's hospitals, universities and colleges are important assets of the region and the city. By collaborating with surrounding communities and neighborhoods, unique zoning rules are developed for each major institution through the adoption of a Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP) that:

  1. identifies a boundary (Major Institution Overlay District) within which the revised rules apply; and
  2. identifies the specific rules that will apply to development within this boundary.

The objective of the plan is to balance the needs of the institution with the needs of adjacent communities and neighborhoods.  MIMPs have been established for thirteen major medical and educational institutions in Seattle.

Header image adapted from an original photo by Joe Mabel.

About the Process

A Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP) describes the zoning rules that will apply to the institution, identifies a long-range plan for the development of the institution's property, and a transportation management plan. The process by which a major institution applies for and develops a Master Plan is established by the Seattle Land Use Code Section 23.69.032.

Forming a Master Plan and monitoring development after its adoption are collaborative efforts involving the community, the major institution, and the City. The community is represented by a formally appointed advisory committee that participates in both creating the plan and monitoring subsequent development. When this committee is involved in establishing a new plan it is called a Development Advisory Committee (DAC). Once a plan has been adopted, this becomes a Implementation Advisory Committee (IAC).

The Development Advisory Committee (DAC) is composed of 6 to 12 voting members appointed by the City Council as part of the Master Plan development process. The DAC represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhoods, and the City of Seattle.  

The role of the DAC is to advise both the institution and City about the potential impacts of the development proposed by the major institution on the surrounding neighborhoods. The DAC recommends changes to the plan and ways to mitigate development related impacts to maintain the health and livability of nearby communities.

The DAC holds regular public committee meetings with the institution and the City to discuss the Master Plan and resolve any differences. The DAC submits comments throughout the process to the institution and the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI). The DAC presents its final recommendations to the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner and City Council. The Hearing Examiner, after considering all the material available, issues a recommendation which the Seattle City Council uses when it adopts a final plan. This process generally lasts two years.

Development Advisory Committees

Seattle Central College
Seattle Central College has a Major Institution Development Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.

Seattle Pacific University
Seattle Pacific University has a Major Institution Development Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.

After a Master Plan's adoption, the DAC is reformed as a IAC.  The role of the IAC is to monitor compliance with the provisions of the adopted Master Plan.  The IAC meets as needed, but no less than annually, to:

  1. Review an annual status report from the institution detailing the progress the institution has made in achieving the goals and objectives of the Master Plan;
  2. Review and comment on progress under the transportation management plan;
  3. Review requests for amendments to the Master Plan and recommend whether the amendment is a major or minor issue and any conditions that should be attached to the granting of an amendment; and
  4. Provide comments on all proposed projects developed under the provisions of the adopted plan that requires a Master Use Permit (MUP), supplemental environmental review, or is subject to any conditional use.

Please visit the Seattle Municipal Code for more detailed information on MIMPs.

Implementation Advisory Committees

  • Harborview Medical Center
    Harborview Medical Center has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • Kaiser Permanente
    The Kaiser Permanente (formerly Group Health) has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • North Seattle College
    North Seattle College has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • Seattle Children's
    Seattle Children's has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • Seattle University
    Seattle University has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • South Seattle College
    South Seattle College has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill Campus
    Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill Campus has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • Swedish Medical Center First Hill Campus
    Swedish Medical Center First Hill Campus has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • University of Washington
    The City University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC) acts as both the DAC and IAC for the University of Washington.
  • UW Medical Center - Northwest Campus
    UW Medical Center - Northwest Campus has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center
    Virginia Mason Medical Center has a Major Institution Implementation Advisory Committee that represents the interests of the institution, the surrounding neighborhood, and the City of Seattle.

Frequently Asked Questions

All Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public. At each meeting, there is an opportunity for public comment. If you would like to be informed of the dates and times of meetings, please contact:

Dipti Garg
Major Institutions Program
Email: dipti.garg@seattle.gov
Phone: (206) 684-5613

  • The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the Institution jointly advertise for volunteers for the Advisory Committee. Advertisements are mailed to near neighbors surrounding the institution, placed in local newspapers, and, for DACs, in the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection's Land Use Information Bulletin (LUIB).
  • Applicants are jointly reviewed and interviewed by staff from the Institution and from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and a list of recommended volunteers is forwarded to the Director of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods for their approval.
  • DAC appointments are transmitted to the Mayor who forwards a list of recommended appointments to the City Council as part of a Memorandum of Agreement, which initiates the process for the development and review of the plan. The Seattle City Council formally appoints the members of the Development Advisory Committee.
  • IAC appointments are approved by the Director of the Department of Neighborhoods.

The Development Advisory Committee or Implementation Advisory Committee can be contacted through the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.  Inquiries should be directed to:

Nelson Pesigan

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Contact
Street Address:
Seattle City Hall
600 4th Avenue
4th Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
Mailing Address:
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

A Development Advisory Committee (DAC) is formed to advise and assist with the development of a new or revised Master Plan for a Major Institution. Once a plan is in place, an Implementation Advisory Committee (IAC) is established to monitor development under the plan to assure adherence to the requirements of the plan. The IAC remains active until the institution decides to develop a new plan.

Once a Master Plan is adopted by the City Council, it becomes the legal document that sets zoning and development regulations for the Institution. The Institution is required to comply with all provisions of the plan and make yearly reports concerning its development under the plan. Moreover, in its annual report, the Institution must detail its progress towards meeting any other goals or conditions under the plan, such as programs to reduce traffic impact on the surrounding areas. These reports are provided to the City and the Implementation Advisory Committee. 

Four groups collaborate to review and enforce compliance with the adopted plans:

  1. The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI);
  2. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT);
  3. The Implementation Advisory Committee (IAC); and
  4. The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON). 

The primary responsibility lies with the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections. The IAC is required to review the annual report of the institution and any proposed amendments to the plans. These reviews are coordinated by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and provided to the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections.

Master Plans are developed when the overlay district is established and revised or amended at various times.  Revisions generally occur when:

  1. The major institution seeks to expand its boundaries or change the development standards established under its plan to be less restrictive;
  2. A proposed structure would exceed development standards of the underlying zone and is not permitted under the existing plan's provisions;
  3. More than four residential units or two residential buildings within the overlay district are proposed for demolition or change to non-residential use; or
  4. Once the total square feet of development authority granted under the plan has been used and the institution proposes any additional development.

Many institutions also develop new plans when their own plans change.

For more detailed information on MIMPs, please see the Seattle Municipal Code.

When an institution decides to update a Master Plan:

  • The Institution informs the City of its intent to develop a new or revised plan;
  • The City and Institution jointly solicit volunteers to serve on the Development Advisory Committee for the plan development;
  • The City and Institution enter into a formal Memorandum of Agreement, appointing the members to the Development Advisory Committee and initiating a two-year process to complete a plan for adoption by the City Council.

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods:

  • Coordinates outreach to solicit members for the Development Advisory Committee and Implementation Advisory Committee;
  • Provides staff support to the Advisory Committees: assists with scheduling and conducting  meetings, including the preparation of all agendas and meeting summaries;
  • Assists the Committee in preparing its various reports to the Institution, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner, and the Seattle City Council.

The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI):

  • Provides technical advice to the Advisory Committees on code related issues;
  • Oversees the preparation of the environmental reviews for the plan;
  • Prepares the formal City of Seattle staff recommendation to the Hearing Examiner and City Council.

For more detailed information, please reference the Seattle Municipal Code.

Neighborhoods

Sarah Morningstar, Acting Director
Address: 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA, 98124-4649
Phone: (206) 684-0464
Fax: (206) 233-5142
seattleneighborhoods@seattle.gov

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