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Seattle Housing Committee Considers More Density In Single-Family Zones

Ashley Gross

A committee tasked with finding answers to Seattle’s shortage of affordable housing is considering allowing a wider variety of housing in areas currently zoned for single-family homes. 

According to a leaked draft first reported in the Seattle Times, Mayor Ed Murray’s housing advisory committee is considering completely doing away with the single-family home designation for zoning. 

In a response to the leaked document, committee members backed away from what they wrote, saying the draft obtained by the Times already is outdated and that the mayor's advisory group has, “no intention of recommending the elimination of all single-family zones in the city.” 

But committee members won’t do interviews ahead of the official release set for next week. In the draft, the committee recommends changing single-family zones to so-called low-density residential zones.

That would allow other kinds of homes to be built such as cottages, courtyard housing, duplexes or triplexes. The committee says more construction is needed to accommodate the city’s expected growth.

But such ideas such tap into fears of many Seattle homeowners that they’ll soon be surrounded by towering apartment buildings and townhomes and that the city will start to feel more like New York.

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