What and Why
DPD generally supports and encourages infill development when consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan goals and policies. DPD recently reviewed the Land Use Code provisions that regulate undersized lots and minimum lot area exceptions. DPD determined that development approved under current standards is often out of character with the surrounding neighborhood and inconsistent with policy. Interim measures were put in place to prevent additional permits on these small lots while this issue is being studied.
Benefits of the Proposal
- The Land Use Code will help promote new construction that fits in with our neighborhoods.
- New construction in our neighborhoods will meet the needs of existing families and also the needs of new families.
- Maintains opportunities for property owners who acquired a parcel prior to the adoption of the lot area requirements to benefit from that investment.
Single-family zoned areas, particularly neighborhoods that are made up of houses constructed over time on lots of varying sizes.
What’s Happening Now
According to the timetable provided in Ordinance 123978, permanent standards are to be adopted by September 2013. DPD is working on changes to the Code. DPD’s goal is to have a proposal before the City Council by summer. The permanent standards may carry forward some of the features of the interim standards, or include other features that address the concerns that have been raised.
We held a panel discussion on November 14, 2012, that included parties representing different views, to explore some potential permanent standards.
Written comments were accepted from the public through December 3, 2012.
- DPD will prepare recommendations for code amendment legislation, likely available for public review by spring.
- As with all code amendments, the proposal will receive SEPA (environmental) review. The SEPA decision will be subject to appeal to the Hearing Examiner.
- The amendments will then be considered first by the Planning Land Use and Sustainability Committee of the City Council, then by the full Council. The Council will hold a public hearing and additional public input will be sought at the Council meetings.
March 12, 2013