Townhouse Easement Clarification - What & Why

What Is Happening Now?

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.

We have issued a SEPA Determination for this proposal. See our Project Documents page for the ordinance, Determination of Non-Significance, and supporting material.

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 will brief the City's Land Use and Neighborhoods (LUN) Committee about the details of this code amendment in early summer 2020.