REALTORS® support new housing options, oppose SFR restrictions in Seattle

The new accessory dwelling unit (ADU/DADU) legislation expected to be considered by the Seattle City Council sometime this summer is a positive step toward creating more affordable housing in our region. However, the proposal goes too far in limiting the choice of individual property owners who wish to build a new home on an existing lot, by imposing a new and unnecessarily restrictive floor area ratio (FAR) limit.

Seattle King County REALTORS® President Rich Bergdahl has sent a letter to the Seattle City Council on behalf of our members and their clients, urging the council to reconsider the proposal. The new FAR limit would reduce by half the current square footage allowed for a house in the Seattle building code. Existing height limits and setbacks already govern what a homeowner may reasonably construct on a lot. Rather than contributing more housing choice for consumers, a stated goal of the legislation, the new square footage restriction limits homeowner choice and flexibility.

“The city’s own environmental impact statement (EIS) shows that the new FAR rule will have little impact on promoting the use of ADUs, less than 2/10ths of one percent. But it will have a big impact on housing choices for owners going forward,” said REALTOR® CEO Russ Hokanson. “There are many groups working with homeowners, who share our view that the city’s proposal is too restrictive.”

Read SKCR’s full letter on the ADU/DADU legislation to learn more.