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Real Estate

Seattle could ban big houses

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The Seattle City Council will consider limiting construction of big new homes on small lots (AP image)

You see it all over Seattle, an old house on a small lot replaced by a much bigger new one. Many city residents want to stop the practice.

"It's essentially building a three-story home on a piece of property you or I would put a greenhouse or a child's play set," says North Seattle homeowner Peter Krause in an interview with KING 5 as he looks at a large new home looming over his backyard.

Developers have taken advantage of a loophole in city zoning laws which exempt certain lots created before 1957 from zoning regulations.

"This is simply random sort of things people have dug up from old records and that's not the way to run a city," says Seattle City Councilman Richard Conlin, who has proposed emergency legislation to block construction of larger homes on small lots.

The council will consider it Monday.

Developers argue the homes are the only way to make affordable new construction available in the city where space is at a premium.

"If we don't have these types of housing, we are not going to see middle class people be able to afford to be in the city anymore," says land broker Gabe Rosenshine.

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