Gov. Inslee is asking for HB 1782, "Creating additional middle housing near transit and in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing" to address the statewide shortage of 250,000 units.
The bill requires Seattle to allow up to fourplexes on any formerly single-family lot within half a mile of frequent transit stops. It also requires Seattle to allow duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes on all lots zoned for single family residences or increase average denisity in residential areas.
While we all agree that we need more housing, the original bill was not supported by the Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance or the Seattle-King County Coalition on Homelessness because, as a Developer and Realtor backed bill, it does nothing for low-income affordable housing.
Nor does it avoid displacement of low-income families. Upzoning from single-family to multifamily greatly increases property taxes, since multifamily taxes are based on the potential for further development. It ignores cutting tree canopy and infrastructure issues such as parks and surface water runoff in our salmon streams.
It is just not good urban planning. Seattle's ADU law to add density by eliminating single-family neighborhoods, allowing 3 units on each lot and concentrating "missing middle housing" around transit is better for the environment. We have enough zoned capacity to meet our growth needs.
Seattle Fair Growth believes the Builders aren't lobbying for housing that will benefit low-, very-low and extremely low-income people.