Board of Adjustment Minutes, 1957-1975

Overview of the Collection

Department of Community Development
Board of Adjustment Minutes
1957-1975 (inclusive)
1.2 cubic feet, (2 boxes)
Collection Number
Minutes and agendas of public hearings held by the Board of Adjustment regarding conditional use, variance, and special exception applications.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Funding for processing this record series was provided through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Board of Adjustment was created in 1957 by the new Zoning Ordinance. It was a division of the City Planning Commission and had power to hear, decide, and grant or deny applications for variances and conditional use permits. The Board began hearing zoning and variance appeals from decisions of the Hearing Examiner (3400) following the latter's creation in 1973. In 1980, application and appeal processes were consolidated in the Department of Construction and Land Use (2000) with development of the Master Use Permit system. The Board functions were superceded and it was abolished in 1981.

The City Planning Commission was created by ordinance in 1924 and was first included in the City Charter in 1946. The Commission's role was to prepare plans and gather data for the development of the City, to advise City Council on current problems and long range planning, and to participate in administration of the City's Zoning Ordinance. It was provided with the authority to hire as needed to carry out its planning and advisory functions. However, the Planning Commission's decisions needed to be passed by ordinance before they became effective.

Between 1924 and 1974, the Commission's membership was changed periodically by ordinance. It varied in size from 9 to 25 members. The composition of the Commission also varied but always consisted of a percentage of the following: Mayoral appointees, ex-officio members from various government departments, as well as representatives elected by various government agencies.

With the creation of the Department of Community Development in 1969, the Commission became a part of the Department of Community Development. For the purpose of having a more broad-based membership, in 1974 the Commission membership was changed to be comprised of 15 Seattle citizens, appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council. If at all possible, the citizens would come from different neighborhoods and a variety of disciplines would be represented.

Due to reorganizations in city government, the Planning Commission became a part of the Office of Policy Planning in 1974 then was returned to the Department of Community Development in 1979. In 1980, an independent office of the Planning Commission was established. The Planning Commission would no longer review site-specific land use applications and permits. Its city planning functions were transferred to the Department of Community Development.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Minutes and agendas of public hearings regarding conditional use, variance, and special exception applications. Luncheon meeting minutes, held prior to the Board's public hearings, include discussion and modifications of previous Board actions, adoption of Board policy, election of officers, and authorization time period extensions on variances.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Board of Adjustment Minutes 1640-01. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

1640-01:  Board of Adjustment Minutes, 1957-1975Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Board of Adjustment - Luncheon Minutes (6 notebooks)
Board of Adjustment - Conditional Use / Variance / Special Exceptions Meetings - drawings included (24 folders)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • City planning--Seattle (Wash.)
  • Real estate development--Seattle (Wash.)
  • Zoning --Seattle (Wash.)

Corporate Names

  • Board of Adjustment
  • Department of Community Development

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • Seattle City Planning Commission (creator)