About ESSHB1923 and SHB2343

Two Springs ago the Washington Legislature passed ESSHB1923 ( "Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1923"). Last Spring, it passed SHB2343

These bills were intended to pursue the goal of increasing housing net density to at least 6 housing units per acre. Most of our older, near-town neighborhoods already have a net density larger than 6 units/acre. This was 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 any parts of the plan to create new code or a change the Comprehensive Plan, citizens can't appeal these decisions.

What are the provisions Olympia has codified?

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-4-8 neighborhoods are as small as 4000 square feet, with a width of 45 feet.

        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 net density of 22 units per acre in R-4-8, and 25 units per acre in R-6-12.

       New duplexes could create a gross density of 15 units per acre in R-4-8, and 17 units per acre in R-6-12.                

        A lot size for triplexes hasn't 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 the following 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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