Seattle could ban big houses

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.

KIRO Radio Staff, Staff report
Straight from the newsdesk.
Top Stories

  • So Far, So Good
    Drivers heed the warning; short backups on I-90 at construction zone

  • Obama's Visit
    President Obama's fundraising visit is expected to snarl Tuesday's traffic

  • Keeping Their Edge
    The Seahawks want to prove they haven't lost their edge
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Mortgage Calculator
Enter Your Details & Click the Calculate Button
Loan Amount $
Annual Interest Rate %
Term of Loan Years
Number of Payments
Monthly Payment $
Brought to you by

This is not a commitment to lend. Terms subject to change without notice. Applicant must qualify to receive credits. A division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corp. WA CL 81395, Equal Housing Lender, MLO 70765.
Listen to the show
Hear Real Estate Today on KIRO Radio
Join Tom Kelly every Sunday at 9am on KIRO Radio to talk Puget Sound real estate.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.