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Seattle land use action signs are getting a makeover

The new signs will say more at a glance

The previous design, pictured by the site of the future Roosevelt light rail station in 2015.
SounderBruce/Flickr

Seattle’s harbingers of new construction are about to get a brand-new look. Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI)’s all-too-familiar “notice of proposed land use action” signs are switching to something a little more personable.

The bureaucratic-looking “notice of proposed land use action” banner with a jumble of details underneath will be replaced by a colorful sign with a more consistent design and shorter, to-the-point headlines.

SDCI’s new template includes a clear banner with a project summary.
Courtesy of SDCI

In the example provided by the SDCI, there’s a straightforward top summary: “Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections is reviewing a new seven-story apartment building.”

Details are then broken down into “What is it?,” “Required Approvals,” and where to submit comments or more information. It also adds instructions for how to find the project online.

Because Seattle is growing at such an astronomical rate, these signs have become a frequent and almost symbolic sight around the city—and have been parodied and referenced not infrequently. Artist Aubrey Birdwell even made a series of sculptures from proposed land use action signs, including a coffin.

Most often, though, the art that the signs inspires goes on the signs themselves. (SDCI would like to let you know that people can report tags on signs on the Find It, Fix It app or through the comment email.)

With the rate Seattle is growing, it shouldn’t take too long for these new signs to be just as recognizable. They’ll start to pop up on June 1.

This article has been updated for clarification since its original publication.