MUP/SEPA Instructions

Step by step doodle of instructions on page.

Collecting research for landmark eligibility review

Previously called an “appendix A”

All State of Washington Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) projects in the City of Seattle that include buildings over 45 years old are reviewed by Historic Preservation staff at the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON). DON collaborates with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) on this effort. The purpose of this review is to determine whether a proposed project might impact potential Seattle Landmarks. While most sites don't meet the Seattle Landmark criteria, City code requires this review to ensure that the city's heritage is considered in development.  
Applicants: Collect the information listed below and upload it to your case file in Accela. If City staff identify the potential for your property to be a Seattle Landmark, your proposal will be forwarded to the Landmarks Preservation Board for further evaluation and possible landmark designation. 

Narrative description 

Using your research from all the items listed below, write a brief description of the building, its primary materials, its plans, and how it has changed over time. Use your research to summarize how the building’s use has evolved over time and how it relates to the five Seattle Landmark Criteria. 

Original drawings and/or Permit Drawings from SDCI  

If you can locate original plans for a building, include them.  Also include permit drawings from SDCI Microfilm Library. Include the oldest drawings available and any significant additions or alterations. You can request them at

King County Parcel Viewer 

Find the property on King County Parcel Viewer. This will help you find information about previous owners and the estimated construction date of the property. 

Property Record Card from Puget Sound Regional Archives 

Historic King County Tax records include historic photos, site plans and other data. Many can be found online at the Puget Sound Regional Archives Website. Not all sites have been scanned into the online archive. You may have to go in person to have the property record card scanned.  

Seattle Historic Sites Database 

Check to see if the property is included in this database and include that information with your submittal. Not all buildings in the database meet the landmarks criteria and not all eligible buildings are in the database. It is just a helpful research tool with some information collected in the past by researchers.  

Architect or Designer information 

Include names of designers of major additions. The name of the architect or designer of a building can often be found in the stamp of the original permit records mentioned earlier in this document.  

Photos of the site including: 

  • all facades of building 
  • additions and alterations  
  • interior photos of main rooms and spaces  
  • any outbuilding or auxiliary structures on the site
  • the site in its larger neighborhood or street context 
  • include any historic photos you find in your research 
  • provide a photo key with location indicators on a site plan for context.  

List people associated with the site 

Use title research, city directories and newspaper research to establish a list of names of people associated with the property. Provide a list of people associated with the property and your research materials with the submittal. City directories can be found at the Seattle Municipal Archives, Seattle Public Library and the University of Washington  

Newspaper Research  

Look up the building address, name, the names of its historic owners and occupants in the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer archives. Summarize your findings and include materials you found in the document. These databases are free but require a Seattle Public Library Card. Check the Washington State Library’s database of other local newspapers and include your findings from these sources, if any.   

Community Significance Summary 

Summarize public comments you have received about the importance of the building or its uses to the community. This includes comments collected during the Early Outreach for Design Review. 

Washington Information System for Architectural and Archeological Records Data (WISAARD) Property Inventory Form 

Search for the address from the WISAARD map and use the pencil icon on the right to draw a shape around the property. Click property on the left menu and then click on the printer icon. Do this for all the addresses on your site and include the reports with the documentation.  

List of resources you consulted 

Create a bibliography of all the resources and places you searched. Please be sure to also include searched resources that did not generate any relevant information. 

Going deeper and getting help 

This is not an exhaustive list of materials for researching a property in Seattle. For more, King County and the Seattle Public Library have created an in-depth guide for researching local buildings. DON staff are also here to help. If you need guidance with your research or have questions about how to format it, call or email Michael de Lange, the SEPA coordinator at the Department of Neighborhoods at (206) 733-9064 or


Jenifer Chao, 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

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