Seattle Times: Ruling calls bluff on Seattle’s misguided housing policy on backyard cottages

Ruling calls bluff on Seattle’s misguided housing policy on backyard cottages

TreePAC has worked to inform the city that second houses on single family lots, called back yard cottages, would have a major impact on Seattle’s urban forest ( though more in scale with neighborhoods than apartment buildings also being suggested).
Why? Because two houses on a lot break up the contiguous green space that hosts trees into narrow slivers of land. The same lot coverage by one big house provides the room needed for big trees.

Multiplied by thousands of homes over 50 years, the cottages will likely have major environmental repercussions.

See what the Seattle Times Editorial Staff had to say about the legislation proposed to encourage more cottages in the article at or by reading an excerpt below.


Published December 15, 2016 at Written by Seattle Times editorial board.

SEATTLE reached a turning point Tuesday when a hearing examiner excoriated City Hall’s plan to allow density to increase by as much as threefold in city neighborhoods.

For the first time in recent memory, the bluff was officially called on the city’s poor planning and misleading rhetoric as it enthusiastically boosts development.

Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner’s ruling suggests that residents were being bamboozled by the equivalent of post-factual, fake news.

Instead of creating more affordable housing as Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council proclaimed, the policy on backyard cottages would make housing less affordable.

Continue reading at at

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