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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 Planning and Development (DPD) or its predecessor, the Building Department. In many cases, a use not previously established by permit will be considered a “nonconforming” use. This CAM further explains what a nonconforming use is, and when a nonconforming use can become recognized as legal through the DPD permit process.

Date Revised: 07/26/2022

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