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Single Family Housing Banned in Washington

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Single Family Housing Banned

On May 10th 2023, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation effectively making single family housing banned. Effective July 23rd, 2023 we’ll discuss what you need to know right now to prepare for potentially massive changes to your community and future real estate plans.

Residential Zoning Changed Forever in Washington State

House Bill 1110 was passed by a vote of 75-21. This means that politicians on both sides of the aisle were in favor changing zoning laws to allow for more housing. Essentially what this new law does is restrict cities from creating single family zoning, effectively making single family housing banned. It sounds really bad, but before you consider yourself a felon and get that prison tattoo, let’s take a look at the major points of this new law.

House Bill 1110 Intent

The bill allows for duplexes, fourplexes, and sixplexes to be built in single-family zoning areas. This will increase the supply of housing in Washington State, which is currently facing a shortage. It is expected to have a significant impact on the housing market in Washington State. Estimates are that the bill could create up to 100,000 new housing units in the state over the next decade.

House Bill 1110 Reactions

Photo by Czapp Árpád:

The bill has mixed reactions. Some people support the bill, arguing that it is necessary to increase the supply of housing in Washington State. Others oppose the bill, arguing that it will lead to increased traffic and noise in single-family neighborhoods. Only time will tell how the bill will impact the housing market in Washington State. However, it is clear that the bill is a significant step towards addressing the state’s housing shortage.

Personally, I can understand both positions. I’m not a big believer in zoning laws to begin with, although I do understand their place. This new law, which I am in favor of, is government creating a solution to a problem it created. While it doesn’t address the root of the issue, it does restricts zoning limitations.

Single Family Zoning Changes

It is not entirely true that this law makes single family housing banned. However, it does require cities over 25,000 population to allow 75% or more of current single family zoning to be used for duplexes. For cities over 75,000 population, this is increased to four-plexes. There are density (six-plexes) increases near public transportation stops and exceptions for affordable housing. Cities under 25,000 population are exempt unless they are in contiguous urban growth areas for larger cities.

Photo by Pixabay:

Single Family Housing Banned in Lewis County

This is a vastly over simplified version of the bill. However, I’ve done this for one very important reason. The largest city in Lewis County is Centralia with a population of just under 19,000. This new law does not apply to Lewis County. This is quite possibly the best of both worlds! We’ll be able to see how this new law affects those areas and implement it with best practices already in place. Centralia has grown about 2% each year over the last six years so it will be over that 25k threshold within the next 15 years. It might be prudent for local officials to transition the city into compliance over that time.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home in the west Lewis County area, contact me today! I’d love to hear from you! Eren Millam – Managing Broker Premiere Property Group, LLC WA License No. 26933

Chehalis, WA 98532 | Centralia, WA 98531 | Adna, WA 98522 | Boistfort, WA 98538 | Napavine, WA 98565 | Onalaska, WA 98570 | Rochester, WA 98579 | Toledo, WA 98591 | Vader, WA 98593 | Winlock, WA 98596

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