Is Washington Ready for Multiplexes (Part 2)?
On May 8, 2023, Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1110 into law. I previously wrote an article regarding the congressional deliberations over House Bill 1110 here. While proponents argued that passing this law would expand access to housing, detractors expressed concern about the significant reduction in local control over zoning throughout Washington State. Whatever the competing opinions, with the ink put to paper by Governor Inslee, Washington State has now essentially eliminated the ability of many cities to restrict housing to a single detached house. In other words, this law will have significant ramifications on zoning laws and requirements across the State.
The final version of the law requires the following:
1. Cities with populations of 75,000 or more must permit the construction of four units in all residential areas and must permit the construction of six units in lots located within a quarter mile of a transit stop or where two of the homes are considered affordable housing.
2. Cities with populations greater than 25,000 and less than 75,000 must permit the construction of two units in all residential areas and must permit construction of four units in lots located within a quarter mile of a transit stop or where one of the homes is considered affordable housing.
3. Cities with populations under 25,000 located within a “contiguous urban growth area with the largest city in a county with a population of more than 275,000” must permit the development of at least two units per lot on all lots zoned for “residential 3 use”, unless zoning that already permits higher densities applies.
Cities also have an alternative road to compliance in which they can simply authorize the allowances outlined above on at least 75% of their residential lots, though the law does outline several restrictions on which parcels may be included or excluded from these areas.
The new law will go into effect on July 23, 2023. Cities must adopt compliant zoning laws within six months of completing their next Comprehensive Plan update. It is expected that this law will lead to significant new construction throughout the State.
Beresford Booth frequently addresses real estate and construction matters for a variety of clients, including new construction issues facing property owners, general contractors, and subcontractors.
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