Update: Small Lot Development

This latest information and news regarding the citizens’ battle against backyard/side-yard houses is provided by the folks at One Home Per Lot.

NEW NEWS COVERAGE
KOMO TV is the first to report on a three-story, skinny side yard house now under construction in the Roosevelt neighborhood.

The lot is only 1,750 square feet, and the foundation for the house measures just 30-feet by 18-feet. Yet, at three-stories, this house will loom over all the neighboring homes. The developer was able to get approval for the project just days before the emergency moratorium took effect last year. Now that construction has begun and neighbors can see the impact, the community is rallying in opposition.

THREE LEGAL CHALLENGES NOW PENDING
Two neighborhoods and one independent homeowner have now taken different aspects of this issue to the courts. All three cases are now pending (two in county superior court, one in federal court), and any one of those could set a precedent in how backyard/side yard houses are constructed in the future.

DPD’S FINAL RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS TO BE PUBLIC IN WEEKS
The city of Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) floated some preliminary solutions to this issue (changes to current building codes) in March and asked for feedback from citizens. Since then, we’ve been waiting for the DPD’s final recommendations.

The timeline for when those will be made public has been a moving target from the start, however, based on recent feedback from insiders, we’re now expecting them to be made public sometime around the end of this month (June).

We expect the City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Sustainability (PLUS) committee to officially start reviewing, debating and revising those recommendations at the end of July (we understand it takes about 30 days for other city departments to review the recommendations before the city council can start working on them).

Public hearings (your chance to publicly sound off on the issue again) will most likely occur in August.

Note: If the city council is not able to do all of the above, and vote on a final bill before September 10 (the end of the temporary emergency moratorium), the moratorium will be extended.

NEW CITY WEBSITE
The city has created a new website to keep you better informed about this issue.

Based on the city’s failed efforts to keep us informed in the past, we encourage you to continue monitoring the One Home Per Lot website, as well.

WHAT ONE HOME PER LOT IS DOING

The One Home Per Lot workgroup has been lobbying the city and DPD from the beginning, and recently established an end-game strategy and will now begin implementing it. But to be successful, they’ll need your continued support — and your help gathering more supporters.

WE NEED MORE REGISTERED SUPPORTERS

In the next couple of days, we’ll be launching an online form where supporters of One Home Per Lot can officially register. As soon as you receive the announcement, please take a minute to sign your name to the list — and ask your friends and neighbors to sign it as well (anyone who thinks backyard/side yard houses need more controls placed on them).

Gathering more supporters, and officially documenting their numbers, is going to be very important moving forward. City council insiders have made it abundantly clear that we need our supporters to make themselves visible — and make themselves heard — if we’re to be successful in overcoming the developers’ professional lobbying efforts.

MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW
Our researchers continue to uncover details and facts about this issue. To better share that information with you, we plan to start emailing bite-sized insights on a regular basis. Stay tuned.

Thank you for your continued support.

One Home Per Lot staff
(staff@onehomeperlot.com)

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