This morning SDCI staff briefed the city council on proposed changes to the land use code affecting backyard cottages. The changes are part of omnibus code update, a collection of amendments that are relatively small in scale, and have a limited scope of impact, into an “omnibus” bill.
If you were hoping, as we were, that clarification on gross square footage or parking or other hot topic items you will be disappointed. However, if you live in a shoreline area you can now build a backyard cottage. The original legislation concerning backyard cottages prohibited DADUs on lots if any portion of the lot was within a shoreline district. It is not clear what the intent of the original legislation was. Now that it is proposed to be eliminated, should we expect an explosion in the number of beach cabanas in Seattle? Unlikely, since 2009 we have only spoken with two potential DADU builders who were impacted by this restriction. Of course, they will be quite happy.
Meanwhile, the more significant proposed DADU code changes, those that are part of the ongoing EIS process, are scheduled to go before Seattle City Council this summer.