The City of Seattle has issued a final EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) on its proposed revisions to the Land Use Code, making it even easier to create additional living units (Attached or Detached Accessory Dwelling Units – also known as Backyard Cottages, or Mother-in-Law Apartments) in Single-Family neighborhoods. The changes include:

  • Now allowing up to two ADUs on one lot (these can be 2 AADUs, or 1 AADU & 1 DADU);
  • Removing the off-street parking requirement for ADUs;
  • Removing the owner-occupancy requirement (while still requiring one year of ownership when creating a second ADU);
  • Reducing the minimum lot size for adding an ADU;
  • Upping the allowable area of a DADU to 1000 s.f.;
  • Revisions to other regulations on size, height, and location of DADUs.

In addition, the proposed revisions set new limits on the maximum size of new single-family dwellings, one based on an F.A.R. (Floor Area Ratio) of .5. For example, on a typical 5000 s.f. lot, the maximum single-family home allowed would be 2500 s.f.

The Seattle City Council will now decide whether to implement the proposed changes. We support these changes, as a way to make housing more affordable and equitable, and increase livability in Seattle.