Thorough, Impactful ADU Reform Proposed in Washington State

A model of accessory dwelling unit reform will be under consideration this year in the Washington State Legislature.

1 minute read

January 16, 2020, 10:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Granny Flat

Nicolás Boullosa / Flickr

"Washington state representatives Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac) and Andrew Barkis (R-Olympia) introduced a new bill in Olympia yesterday evening (HB 2570) that would lift barriers to backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments across the state," reports Margaret Morales.

This isn't the first time Morales has reported news of the state of Washington's efforts to significantly loosen residential land use regulations throughout the state. In January 2019, the state was considering a law (HB 1797) that Morales described as the most ambitious of any in the United States.

The new bill "would dismantle five top barriers homeowners face to building ADUs on their property." Morales describes those reforms as follows:

  • Permit two ADUs per lot wherever there is a single-family home, duplex, triplex, or townhome
  • Eliminate off-street parking, owner-occupancy, and minimum lot size requirements
  • Cap impact fees at 50 percent of those for single-family homes
  • Set utility connection fees and capacity charges in proportion to the ADU’s burden on the utility system
  • Increase design flexibility via more generous setback, height, and size limits

Morales maintains that, if approved, HB 2570 would go beyond the reforms that have legalized accessory dwelling units in the states of California and Oregon in recent years.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 in Sightline Institute

View of Mount Hood at golden hour with Happy Valley, Oregon homes in foreground.

Clackamas County Votes to Allow ADUs, Residential RVs

County officials hope the zoning changes will help boost the housing supply in the region.

June 18, 2024 - Mountain Times

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL aircraft on display at Dubai Airshow November 13th 2023, dark colors, bright background, indoors. Electric aircraft, electric helicopter.

FAA Approves Air Taxis

Two Bay Area companies are planning to develop autonomous commuter flight services between San Francisco and local cities.

June 24, 2024 - Smart Cities Dive

People on bikes riding across 4th Street Bridge in Los Angeles during 2010 CicLAvia event.

The ‘Virtuous Circle’ of Bikeability

Research reveals that, once a city reaches a certain threshold of bike infrastructure, opposition decreases and residents want more.

1 hour ago - Streetsblog USA

Overhead view of black asphalt parking lot with white lined parking spots with EV charging logos.

Study Highlights Equity Gaps in California's EV Incentives

A UCLA research team identifies gaps in incentive uptake and electric vehicle registration rates in disadvantaged communities.

2 hours ago - UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

Three dark brown wild horses stand in a meadow near Farson, Wyoming.

Utah and Wyoming Sue BLM Over Conservation Rule

The states allege the agency overstepped federal regulations in its attempt to boost conservation efforts on public lands.

3 hours ago - WyoFile

Senior Planner

Town of Los Altos Hills

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.