Summary: Seattle’s Land Use Code specifies the type of development or “use” allowed on property in different zones in the City. Examples of different types of uses are single-family homes, multifamily residences, office buildings, and warehouses. The Land Use Code requires that all uses of land be established by permit. This Tip explains how to legalize a use not previously established by a permit issued by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI). In many cases, a use not previously established by permit will be considered a “nonconforming” use. This Tip further explains what a nonconforming use is, and when a nonconforming use can become recognized as legal through the SDCI permit process.

Date Revised: 11/15/2022

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