Encouraging Backyard Cottages

At the Office of Planning and Community Development, we are continuing our work with City Council to explore land use code changes that could encourage greater production of backyard cottages (also known as detached accessory dwelling units or DADUs). Expanding construction of backyard cottages could provide thousands of new housing units throughout Seattle and give homeowners an opportunity to earn stable, extra income that can help them remain in their neighborhoods.

In 2014, the City Council adopted Resolution 31547 directing us to explore changes that would increase the number of accessory dwelling units in Seattle. Since then, we have spoken with homeowners who have built backyard cottages to learn about their experience. We’ve also heard from many people who are eager, but unable, to build a cottage due to restrictions in the land use code. In December 2015, we hosted a Lunch & Learn event at City Council to hear from four homeowners who have built backyard cottages. If you missed it, check out the presentation or watch the archived video of the meeting on the Seattle Channel.

We are considering a range of changes that would make it easier to build a backyard cottage or allow them on more lots. Now we want to hear from you. Join us and Councilmember Mike O’Brien at two public meetings in early 2016 to learn more and discuss policy options for encouraging more backyard cottages. Please note that we have rescheduled the second meeting.

January 19, 2016, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way

February 3, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (New Date)
Wallingford Senior Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave N

For more information, visit our project website or contact:

Nick Welch
(206) 684-8203
Nicolas.Welch@seattle.gov