Property Q&A in Seattle>Question Details

oyeai, Home Owner in Seattle, WA

What are the chances of converting a single family property to a multi-family property in Seattle?

Asked by oyeai, Seattle, WA Thu Jun 28, 2012

I currently own a home which is located on a SF property but is adjacent to an LR1 and LR2 property on one side and SF on the other. How likely is it that the City of Seattle approves rezoning my property to an LR1 or and LR2. Would my chances improve if I have plans showing possible multi-family units on the lot along with my application?

Help the community by answering this question:


Having participated in more than one re-zone, I recommend that you do not undertake the process. It can be time-consuming, expensive, and there is no guarantee you'll be granted the re-zone you seek.

If your property is located in the City of Seattle, you have other options. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU's) and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADU's) are allowed in a single-family zone.

An ADU is typically built in the basement. A DADU is intended for the backyard. The city encourages these cost-effective methods of alternative housing. Check with the Department of Planning & Development "Client Assistance Memo" or CAM for more information about ADU's and DADU's. ( CAM 116A and 116B )

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
A rezone is difficult and expensive at best with no guarantees that you will get what you want.
In most cases it is more likely that you won't get the re-zone and the plans are an expense that isn't warrented until you have the correct zoning.

Best of luck, sorry if it is not what you wantet to hear.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
I have seen it done but can not say it was easy. First thing that I would check is to see if any Portion of your property falls along the multi family zone...old survey's etc were poor and sometimes there is a chance of overlay which might improve your chances of stating your case.
Also it is nice if you might have something to offer the city in return...improve the street, add sidewalks etc. What neighborhood are you in?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
I'm in the Madison Valley neighborhood, there is limited sidewalk within the width of my property, but not sure it is a sufficient offering.
Flag Thu Jun 28, 2012
If the zoning alows it no problem otherwise if you owner ocuppy it you could develop an ADU (auxillary dwelling unit) on the property. There are a few DPD hurtles to go through either way to make it recognized by the city, but could be worth it in rental income.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
An ADU is my backup plan, the property is definitely large enough.
Flag Thu Jun 28, 2012
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