The City of Seattle is considering changes to the rules governing backyard cottages (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units or DADUs) and mother-in-law apartments (Attached Dwelling Units or ADUs) on single-family lots. The proposed changes include:
- Removing the owner occupancy requirement.
- Allowing both a mother-in-law apartment (ADU) and a backyard cottage (DADU) on the same lot.
- Removing the off-street parking requirement.
- Permitting up to 12 unrelated persons to live on a single-family lot.
- Allowing backyard cottages (DADUs) on lots less than 4,000 square feet.
- Increasing height limits to allow structures up to 27 feet tall, which is 2½ stories.
These changes could have profound impacts on single-family neighborhoods throughout the city, both inside and outside of urban villages. The HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) Strategy SF.2 proposes allowing more variety of housing types in single family zones, including duplexes and triplexes. By allowing three units (a principal dwelling and an ADU and a DADU) on a single-family lot, this proposal moves towards the HALA goal of allowing multi-family dwellings on single-family lots. This, in addition to no parking and increased residents, could drastically affect the livability and character of single-family neighborhoods.
For a full discussion see the Backyard Cottages page.
We urge you to share your opinion of these proposals with your elected officials in city government.
Please comment by email to the City Council:
Lisa Herbold; Bruce Harrell; Kshama Sawant; Rob Johnson; Debora Juarez; Mike O’Brien; Sally Bagshaw; Tim Burgess; Lorena González.
And please submit your comments to Mayor Murray:
Feel free to send your version of this suggested comment:
I oppose the changes to the backyard cottage rules that are being discussed within city government. Removing the owner occupancy requirement while simultaneously allowing both backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments on the same lot could have profound impacts on single-family neighborhoods throughout the city, both inside and outside of urban villages. How is this different than the original HALA proposal to allow multi-family developments in single-family zones? That proposal was rescinded due to its unpopularity with voters. This one should be too. This, in addition to no parking and increased residents, could drastically affect the livability and character of single-family neighborhoods. Please prevent these rule changes from occurring.