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Seattle Seeks Comment On EIS For Proposed Backyard Cottage Legislation

Seattle City Council

The City of Seattle is asking the public to weigh in on the potential environmental impacts of making it easier to build accessory dwelling units.

Seattle homeowners can build so-called backyard cottages or in-law units on their property, but they have to meet certain size and parking requirements. City Councilmember Mike O'Brien proposed legislation last year that would ease those restrictions to encourage people to build more of them.

Supporters say it could be one way to build more affordable housing. But opponents have said that it could negatively impact neighborhoods.

The Queen Anne Community Council challenged the legislation. They won a victory when the city hearing examiner said in December that the city has to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement before the council can vote on the legislation.

The first round of public comment opened up earlier this month and closes Nov. 1. The city is asking people to recommend what kinds of impacts they should study. 

The whole process is expected to be completed by next summer. 

Seattlites cancomment on the EIS online. There will also be two public meetings. The first one is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the High Point Community Center. The second one is on Oct. 26 at Hale's Ales in Fremont.

A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.