First, ESSHB1923 means "Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1923". Let's just call it 1923.
Last Spring, our legislature passed 1923 with the goal of increasing housing net density to at least 6 housing units per acre. Most of our neighborhoods already have a net density larger than 6 units/acre.This is to be done with housing "infill". Infill in this case means going into existing single family neighborhoods and putting buildings on vacant lots, adding ADUs to lots having a house, or tearing down existing housing and replacing it with multifamily buildings.
The bill encourages cities to implement its provisions on a voluntary basis. However, if a city implements parts of the plan to create new code or change the Comprehensive Plan, citizens can't appeal these decisions.
What are the provisions Olympia will try to codify?
1. Allow at least one duplex, triplex or courtyard apartment on each parcel in zones allowing single-family houses.
Some single-family lots in R-6-12 neighborhoods are as small as 3500 square feet, with a width of 40 feet.
New duplexes could create a density of 22 units per acre.
A lot size for triplexes hasn't even been defined
Courtyard Apartments haven't been defined. Nor has a lot size.
2. Allow a duplex on every street corner in single-family neighborhoods. No lot size has been defined
3. Our zoning already allows ADUs in single-famliy neighborhoods. The new ADU rules would make these changes:
- ADUs won't be counted as density, giving the impression that our maximum densities haven't been exceeded
- No owner-occupancy requirement
- No off-street parking requirement
- ADUs can now be 24 ft high (up from 16' high)
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