How to Appeal a Decision

What Is It?

An appeal is an opportunity to contest our appealable permitting decisions. There are two types of appeals:

  • Appeals to the Hearing Examiner for land use projects
  • Appeals to the State Shorelines Hearings Board for shoreline projects

You can search our Seattle Services Portal for decisions by address, project number, area, or date. You can view issued decisions in our electronic document library

Hearing Examiner Appeals

Most land use decisions include an opportunity to appeal our decision to the City's Hearing Examiner. Appeals must be in writing. You can file your appeal online (see the Hearing Examiner's website for details), or mail it to:

Office of the Hearing Examiner
P.O. Box 94729
Seattle, WA 98124-4729

Your appeals must be received before 5:00 p.m. on the appeal deadline, and include a $85 filing fee in a check payable to the City of Seattle. (The Hearing Examiner may waive the fee if payment would cause you financial hardship.) If you send your appeal by mail, it could be delayed by several days. Allow extra time if mailing an appeal.

Your appeal must:

  • Identify all the specific Master Use Permit component(s) you are appealing
  • Specify your exceptions or objections to our decision, and the relief sought
  • Comply with the Hearing Examiner’s rules for appeals

You must be party to an appeal in order to have your views heard. Do not assume you will have an opportunity to be heard if someone else has filed an appeal on our decision. For more information, read the following Hearing Examiner resources:

Shoreline Appeals

You need to appeal shoreline substantial development decisions to the State Shorelines Hearings Board. Your appeal must be in writing and filed within 21 days of the date the State Department of Ecology (DOE) receives our decision. We will send our decision to DOE within two business days of publishing our decision.

Note: The appeal of our decision on a shoreline application with an environmental (SEPA) review must be filed with the State Shorelines Hearings Board. The appeal of our review on other land use components must be filed with the City Hearing Examiner.

If our shoreline decision involves a shoreline variance or shoreline conditional use, your appeal must be filed within 21 days after DOE has made its decision. We will send the material DOE needs to make its decision within two business days of publishing our decision. You can also learn the beginning of the appeal period by contacting our Virtual Applicant Service Center.

If you don’t properly file your shoreline appeal by the deadline, your appeal will be dismissed.

For more information on making shoreline appeals, read the read the following:

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.