Proposed changes for backyard cottages and Attached Accessory Dwelling Units

The housing market in Seattle doesn't seem to be slowing down. With the continued expansion of companies (Amazon, Google and Expedia to name a few) the housing shortage in our area is sure to continue. One way to increase housing density could be through backyard cottages or attached accessory dwelling units. These are housing options built in the backyard of existing homes that create a separate living space that can be rented. For many years the restrictions placed on the building of these units have made it difficult for homeowners to build backyard cottages/attached dwelling units on their property. Now representative Mike O'Brien (District 6, NW Seattle) has presented the city council with a proposal to make it much easier for homeowners to build these types of living spaces. Among the highlights of the proposal are:

  • Reducing the lot size requirement from 4,000 square feet to 3,200 square feet

  • Increase the height of units depending on roof type

  • Modify the gross square foot limits

  • Remove the off-street parking requirement

  • Modify the owner occupancy requirements

This will certainly be a hotly debated issue. The public comment timeline on this proposal runs through June 2nd. Comments can be directed at Nick Welch, If you'd like to read the full proposal you can read it here.

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