Townhouse Easement Clarification - What & Why

What Is Happening Now?

We are accepting comments regarding the DNS or potential environmental impacts may be submitted through December 23, 2019. See our Project Documents page for the ordinance, DNS, and supporting material. You can send your comments to:

City of Seattle, SDCI
Attn: William Mills
P.O. Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124-7088

We have completed draft legislation and a Director's Report to update the required width of access easements for townhouses to match the driveway width. An access easement allows people to access, use, or travel across another person's property to reach a nearby location, such as a townhome located in an interior lot without any street frontage. This code amendment only applies to small-scale townhouse projects throughout Seattle.

Project Goals

Our recommendations will:

  • Clarify the Land Use Code by making driveway width and easement standards compatible
  • Allow land to be used more efficiently, potentially for an additional housing unit 
  • Support the Fire Department by maintaining emergency access to these homes by preserving adequate widths for firefighters and paramedics from the street to the interior lots

The End Result

We expect the City Council's Planning, Land Use, and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee will discuss our amendment in spring of 2020. See the PLUZ Committee webpage for future meetings related to this proposal.