Chapter 19.34


Article I. General Provisions

19.34.010    Purpose.

19.34.020    Intent.

Article II. Definitions

19.34.030    Accessory dwelling unit.

19.34.040    Illegal accessory dwelling unit.

Article III. Criteria

19.34.050    Lot standards.

19.34.060    Occupancy standards.

19.34.070    Owner occupancy.

19.34.080    Subdivision.

19.34.090    Size.

19.34.100    Architectural design.

19.34.110    Entrances and stairs.

19.34.120    Compliance with applicable codes.

19.34.130    Sewer and water connections.

19.34.140    Annual report.

Article IV. Permit Process

19.34.150    Application.

19.34.160    Inspection.

19.34.170    Notice and public hearing.

19.34.180    Affidavit recording requirements.

19.34.190    Permit issuance.

19.34.200    Building plan review.

19.34.210    Enforcement.

19.34.220    Variances.

Article V. Pre-existing Accessory Dwelling Units

19.34.230    Conditions for legalizing pre-existing accessory dwelling units.

19.34.240    Amnesty period.

Article I. General Provisions

19.34.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to regulate the establishment of accessory dwelling units within or in conjunction with single-family dwellings while preserving the character of single-family neighborhoods. The primary purpose of this chapter shall be to permit establishment of additional living quarters within single-family residential neighborhoods in order to:

A. Make it possible for adult children to provide care and support to a parent or other relatives in need of assistance; and/or

B. Provide increased security and companionship for homeowners; and/or

C. Provide the opportunity for homeowners to gain the extra income necessary to help meet the rising costs of home ownership; and/or

D. Provide for the care of disabled persons within their own homes; and/or

E. Provide for a more diverse and affordable housing stock. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.020 Intent.

A maximum of one accessory dwelling unit shall be permitted as subordinate to a new or existing single-family dwelling unit if the accessory dwelling unit and lot meet the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

Article II. Definitions

19.34.030 Accessory dwelling unit.

An “accessory dwelling unit (ADU)” is a habitable living unit added to, created within, or detached from a single-family dwelling that contains facilities for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.040 Illegal accessory dwelling unit.

An “illegal accessory dwelling unit” is one that was installed without the required permits and that does not qualify for legal nonconforming status. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

Article III. Criteria

19.34.050 Lot standards.

Accessory dwelling units may be developed on lots of any size provided that all other applicable zoning requirements are met. Detached accessory dwelling units shall comply with the detached accessory building provisions set forth in each residential zoning district. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.060 Occupancy standards.

No lot shall be occupied by more than one family as defined in Chapter 15.04 EMC. This limitation shall be interpreted to accomplish its purpose, which is to insure that the approval of an accessory dwelling unit shall not increase the overall density of a single-family residential neighborhood. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.070 Owner occupancy.

Either the primary or accessory dwelling shall be owner-occupied. “Owner-occupied” shall mean a property owner who makes his or her legal residence at the site, as evidenced by voter registration, vehicle registration, or similar means, and resides at the site more than six months of any given year, and at no time receives rent for the owner-occupied unit. The owner(s) shall not rent the designated owner-occupied unit at any time during the period of the ADU permit; any such rental shall void the permit. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.080 Subdivision.

The accessory dwelling unit, or the land on which the accessory dwelling unit is located, shall not be subdivided or otherwise segregated in ownership from the principal dwelling unit or the land on which the principal dwelling unit is located. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.090 Size.

An accessory dwelling shall not exceed 800 square feet in size, and shall not have more than two bedrooms. When an accessory dwelling unit is completely located on a single floor of a multiple-floor dwelling, the administrator may allow increased size up to 50 percent of the principal dwelling unit’s livable floor area in order to efficiently use all floor area. (Ord. 2590 § 2 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.100 Architectural design.

The addition of an accessory dwelling unit shall be allowed only if the single-family appearance and character of the lot and neighborhood are maintained. The design of the accessory dwelling unit shall be consistent with the design of the principal dwelling unit and shall maintain the style, appearance and character of the main building, and shall use matching materials, colors, window style, and comparable roof appearance. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.110 Entrances and stairs.

Only one entrance shall be allowed per fronting street. Exterior stairways shall not be constructed on the front of the principal dwelling unit. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.120 Compliance with applicable codes.

The accessory dwelling unit shall comply with all standards for health and life safety as set forth in the International Building Code, International Residential Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, National Electrical Code, International Mechanical Code, International Fire Code, and Washington State Energy Code as each code is adopted by the city; and any other applicable codes or regulations, except as provided in this chapter. The accessory dwelling unit shall comply with all zoning code provisions for single-family residences, including height, setbacks, accessory buildings and lot coverage, except as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 2216 § 8, 2004; Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.130 Sewer and water connections.

The accessory dwelling unit, either attached or detached, shall be served by the existing primary residence sewer and water connections and water meter. The water meter size shall not be increased for the purpose of serving the accessory dwelling unit. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.140 Annual report.

The administrator shall provide an annual report to the planning commission, which indicates the number of units established, the geographic distribution of the units, the average size of the units, the number and type of any complaints received, and any enforcement action taken. The annual report shall be provided so that the planning commission may annually assess the ADU provisions with regards to density. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

Article IV. Permit Process

19.34.150 Application.

The property owner shall apply for an accessory dwelling unit permit with the community development department, and shall pay the application fee as established by resolution. In addition to the required application, the applicant shall include an affidavit signed by the property owner affirming that the property owner will live in the principal dwelling unit or accessory dwelling unit for more than six months a year. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.160 Inspection.

After receipt of a complete application and prior to permit issuance, the city shall inspect the property to confirm that the proposed accessory dwelling unit meets all requirements of this chapter and other applicable codes or regulations. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.170 Notice and public hearing.

Following the property inspection, the city shall request comment through posting a public notice of the accessory dwelling unit application on the subject property for a period of at least 14 days. Following the 14-day notice period, the administrator shall review all comments received and either issue the permit or require and schedule a public hearing before the planning commission. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.180 Affidavit recording requirements.

Prior to issuance of the permit by the administrator or planning commission the applicant shall record the affidavit with the King County department of records and elections and provide a copy of the recorded affidavit. Said affidavit shall identify the address and legal description of the property and state the following: the property owner resides in either the principal dwelling or the accessory dwelling unit for more than six months each year, that the owner will notify any prospective purchaser of the property of the limitations and requirements of this chapter, and that the permit will be revoked if the accessory dwelling unit at any time fails to meet the requirements of this chapter. The document shall run with the land and bind all current and future property owners, and the owner’s assigns, beneficiaries and heirs. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.190 Permit issuance.

A permit for an accessory dwelling unit will be issued upon compliance with the provisions of this chapter. Once the accessory dwelling unit permit is issued, the applicant will need to apply for a city building permit, when applicable. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.200 Building plan review.

The community development department will review submitted building plans to insure adherence to the criteria of this chapter. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.210 Enforcement.

The city retains the right (with reasonable notice) to inspect the accessory dwelling unit for compliance with this chapter. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.220 Variances.

Variances to the chapter shall require variance approval as outlined in Chapter 15.34 EMC. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

Article V. Pre-existing Accessory
Dwelling Units

19.34.230 Conditions for legalizing pre-existing accessory dwelling units.

An accessory dwelling unit that existed on November 5, 2001, may be legally established and may continue to be used as an accessory dwelling unit if the following conditions are met:

A. The property owner files an application for the accessory dwelling unit. The administrator may waive the size limitations if the reduction of the floor area required to bring the pre-existing unit into compliance is impractical to achieve.

B. Prior to issuance of a permit, the property owner allows inspection of the accessory dwelling unit by the city in order to ensure the minimum requirements of this chapter relating to fire, life safety, and public health are met, as determined by the director. All improvements necessary to bring the pre-existing accessory dwelling unit into compliance with applicable fire, life safety, and public health requirements shall be identified and made within 30 days of permit issuance.

C. Prior to issuance of a permit, the property owner shall complete and record an affidavit consistent with EMC 19.34.180. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).

19.34.240 Amnesty period.

Any existing illegal ADU will not be subject to any enforcement action if an application to legalize the accessory dwelling unit is submitted within 12 months of the adoption of these regulations. During this 12 month period the accessory dwelling unit permit fee will be waived. (Ord. 2119 § 1, 2001).