SEPA Review

What triggers a State Environmental Policy Act Review (SEPA)?

  • The construction or location of any single-family residential structures of more than 30 dwelling units (31+)
  • The construction or location of any multi-family residential structures of more than 60 dwelling units (61+)
  • The construction or demolition of a commercial building (office, school, warehouse, retail, etc.) with more than 30,000 square feet of gross floor area
  • The construction of a parking lot of more than 90 parking spaces
  • Any fill or removal of earth material at or over 1,000 cubic yards
  • Any above ground fuel tanks that would require a Fire Department permit. Any underground tanks of 10,000 gallons or more
  • The demolition of a recognized historic structure (single family residential and commercial)

If a project is located in the Urban Residential (UR), Urban Mixed (UM) or Urban Light Industrial (ULI) zones -- Metro Everett, additional exemptions from SEPA review are provided:

  • The construction of up to 200 dwelling units
  • Mixed-use development (must include residential)
  • Commercial development up to 65,000 square feet, excluding retail development

What triggers public notice of a development application exempt from SEPA?

When development proposals are exempt from SEPA review (see above) but exceed the minor new construction minimum thresholds in WAC 197-11-800(1)(b), public notice that a development application has been submitted must be posted on the property. Two signs, each at 24" x 36", must provide the following information:

  • Name of applicant
  • Address of property
  • Written description of the request
  • City staff contact
  • Site plan
  • Where the application can be reviewed

The following table identifies the current SEPA exemption thresholds and the former that require posting a public notice on the site of the proposed development.

Project Types
SEPA exemption thresholds
Former exemption thresholds requiring posting at site

30 SF units; 60 MF units; 100 units in E-1 MUO

4 dwelling units; 100 units in E-1 MUO
Agriculture Structures

40,000 square feet

10,000 square feet.

Non residential

30,000 square feet

4,000 square feet; 15,000 square feet in E-1 MUO


90 stalls

20 stalls

Fill or Excavation

1,000 cubic yards

500 cubic yards

To find out more about the SEPA process, call 425-257-8810 (press option 3) and ask to speak with the planner on duty, or email.