House Bill 1711


Section 1

The legislature finds that there is a shortage of affordable housing units available for home ownership or long-term rental for very low, low, and moderate-income residents within most urban growth areas of the state. This lack of affordable housing forces many residents to spend more than 30 percent of their household income on housing, greatly increasing housing insecurity and contributing to the state's crisis of unacceptable numbers of persons experiencing homelessness. Increasing the availability of accessory dwelling units, also referred to as "ADUs," may increase opportunities for people to age in their own home and increase multigenerational family ties along with offering opportunities to reduce intergenerational poverty by increasing home ownership. The legislature finds that accessory dwelling units can be one way to add affordable long-term housing and to provide a needed increase in housing density within urban growth areas with benefits to reducing fossil fuel use and other contributions to climate change due to housing and transportation patterns. However, the legislature finds that research from several cities shows that when accessory dwelling units are built and offered for short-term rental for tourists and business visitors, they may not improve housing affordability. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to meet these important policy goals by authorizing local governments to adopt programs to incentivize or reduce local government-imposed cost or time related obstacles to the development of accessory dwelling units when the local government adopts policies ensuring such incentives are only available for accessory dwelling units which will be utilized for long-term housing.

Section 2

This section modifies existing section 36.70A.696. Here is the modified chapter for context.

The definitions in this section apply throughout RCW 36.70A.697 and 36.70A.698 unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

  1. "Accessory dwelling unit" means a dwelling unit located on the same lot as a single-family housing unit, duplex, triplex, townhome, or other housing unit.

  2. "Attached accessory dwelling unit" means an accessory dwelling unit located within or attached to a single-family housing unit, duplex, triplex, townhome, or other housing unit.

  3. "City" means any city, code city, and town located in a county planning under RCW 36.70A.040.

  4. "County" means any county planning under RCW 36.70A.040.

  5. "Detached accessory dwelling unit" means an accessory dwelling unit that consists partly or entirely of a building that is separate and detached from a single-family housing unit, duplex, triplex, townhome, or other housing unit and is on the same property.

  6. "Dwelling unit" means a residential living unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and that includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.

  7. "Major transit stop" means:

    1. A stop on a high capacity transportation system funded or expanded under the provisions of chapter 81.104 RCW;

    2. Commuter rail stops;

    3. Stops on rail or fixed guideway systems, including transitways;

    4. Stops on bus rapid transit routes or routes that run on high occupancy vehicle lanes; or

    5. Stops for a bus or other transit mode providing actual fixed route service at intervals of no greater than 15 minutes for at least five hours during the peak hours of operation on weekdays.


"Short-term rental" means a lodging use, that is not a hotel or motel or bed and breakfast, in which a dwelling unit, or portion thereof, is offered or provided to a guest by a short-term rental operator for a fee for fewer than 30 consecutive nights.

Section 3

This section adds a new section to an existing chapter 36.70A. Here is the modified chapter for context.

To encourage the use of accessory dwelling units for long-term housing, cities and counties may adopt ordinances, development regulations, and other official controls which waive or defer fees, including impact fees; defer the payment of taxes; or waive specific regulations. Cities and counties may only offer such reduced or deferred fees, deferred taxes, waivers, or other incentives for the development or construction of accessory dwelling units if such units are subject to effective binding commitments or covenants that the units will not be regularly offered for short-term rental and the city or county has a program to audit compliance with such commitments or covenants.

Created by @tannewt. Contribute on GitHub.