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Small Efficiency Dwelling Units

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What Is It?

We regulate small efficiency dwelling units (also known as micro-housing), congregate residences (group homes), and similar forms of development.

  • Each small efficiency dwelling unit must have a minimum room size of 150 square feet and a full kitchen or kitchenette, and must meet the requirements in Director’s Rule 7-2016, Small Efficiency Dwelling Units.
  • Generally, congregate residences are only allowed in urban villages and urban centers in these zones:
    • Neighborhood Commercial 3 (NC3)
    • Midrise multifamily (MR)
    • Highrise multifamily (HR)
    • Seattle Mixed (SM)
    • Commercial (C1)
    • Downtown zones
  • Certain congregate residences, such as college dormitories and state licensed senior housing, are allowed in all zones that allow multi-family development.

Small efficiency dwelling units and congregate residences need to go through Design Review, based on the size of the development:

  • 5,000 – 11,999 square feet: Streamlined Design Review
  • 12,000 – 19,999 square feet: Administrative Design Review
  • 20,000+ square feet: Design Review Board review

See the Micro-Housing code development page for more information and the project history.

Read the Code

Proposed Changes

We have published an updated Draft Director's Rule 9-2017, Small Efficiency Dwelling Units, and the accompanying Director Report on Draft Director's Rule 9-2017. This draft rule will replace Director's Rule 7-2016.

 

 

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