Tuesday, May 26, 2020
May 26, 2020

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Seattle OKs more backyard cottages; restricts McMansions

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SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to enable the construction of more and bigger backyard cottages in all neighborhoods while removing requirements that property owners live on site and provide off-street parking.

The Seattle Times reports Councilmember Mike O’Brien and other proponents touted the new rules for accessory units passed Monday as a gentle and environmentally-sustainable way to add living options in response to the city’s population growth.

They say it will open up pricey neighborhoods.

Proponents included urbanists, labor unions, homebuilders and AARP.

Critics of the new rules, led by the Queen Anne Community Council, warned about the changes allowing developers to replace modest older houses with up to three rental units.

They say the plan would make Seattle’s low-density blocks less desirable and create parking problems without yielding truly affordable options.

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