City extends COVID-19 closures and relief policies

The City of Seattle has extended many of its COVID-19 closures and relief policies, which includes parking lot closures at popular city parks and eviction moratoriums.

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the extension today, which impacts a number of closures, changes, and relief policies. According to a city statement, the Executive Order follows King County’s application to be in Phase Two of the Governor’s Safe Start Washington plan, which allows some businesses and activities to resume under strict public health guidance. However, the City notes that Phase Two still bans almost all gatherings.

“Right now, our city and country are facing the crises of a nationwide civil rights movement to reckon with police violence and systemic racism, a global COVID-19 pandemic, and job losses and economic devastation not seen since the Great Depression,” Mayor Durkan said in a statement. “In Seattle, even as communities protest, heal, and work to find a path forward together, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and job losses cannot be ignored. At the City, we’re extending our relief policies to make sure our communities have the support they need during this truly unprecedented moment in history for our City.”

Here’s a rundown of which relief policies have been extended:

  • The moratorium on nonprofit, residential, and small business evictions has been extended through August 1, 2020. Tenants who receive any eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint.
  • Rent relief policies for City tenants extended through July 31, 2020. For nonprofit organizations and renters with artist studio licenses, the relief is in the form of rent forgiveness. Businesses’ rent will be deferred.
  • Temporary parking and/or loading zones for restaurants, health care and human services workers, and retail stores are extended until further notice.
  • Flexible payment plans and shutoff policies with Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities are extended until further notice.
  • The City’s small business, arts and nonprofit, food access, and housing and homelessness COVID-19 relief programs are extended until further notice.
  • The Utility Discount Program Self-Certification Pilot Program is extended until July 31, 2020.

The City has also extended the following:

  • The ban on permitted events, with the exception of farmers markets, is extended until June 30, 2020,
  • Enforcement of paid parking requirements on City streets; select hourly parking time limits outside of no-parking or special zones; and the 72-hour rule is suspended until further notice.
  • Booting vehicles with unpaid parking tickets is suspended until further notice.

The following City facility closures are extended by the Mayor’s Executive Order:

  • All Seattle Public Library (SPL) locations are closed through June 30, 2020, however, restroom access and several SPL locations will remain open and the City is evaluating curbside library services.
  • Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) Cedar River Watershed Education Center and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail will remain closed through June 30, 2020.
  • In-person access to all City departments’ public-facing customer service counters will remain closed through June 30, 2020, with digital and telephonic access still available. The Seattle Animal Shelter in March launched a new appointment-based adoption system that enables animals to still find forever homes even while the shelter’s counters are closed. 
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities, such as community centers, pools, environmental learning centers, and select parking lots serving the City’s largest parks are closed until further notice.

If King County is approved for Phase Two, Seattle Parks will begin to reopen facilities and activities, including outdoor youth sports and adult recreational sports.

For more information, visit the City’s COVID-19 resource website.

Photo: Golden Gardens park | Jenny King