‘I need a bill that can pass’: Proposal to rework state’s single-family zoning sheds core pieces

Feb 14, 2022, 9:25 AM
Middle housing, single family zoning...
Townhomes in Seattle. (Atomic Taco, Wikimedia Commons)
(Atomic Taco, Wikimedia Commons)

State lawmakers pushing for a bill that would allow for denser housing options across Washington’s large cities may soon be forced into a difficult decision, as the legislation continues to get scaled back in its journey toward passage.

Bill to rework Washington’s single-family zoning advances ahead of deadline

The initial draft of HB 1782 sought to allow for the construction of townhomes, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, fiveplexes, sixplexes, stacked flats, and courtyard apartments in what have traditionally been single-family zoned areas in cities with populations over 20,000 — provided the areas are within a half-mile walking distance of a major transit stop. For all other single-family zoned neighborhoods outside that range, it also would have allowed for duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes.

But as the bill has progressed through the state House, parts of the proposal have been chipped away by amendments, as Democrats have struggled to keep its core pieces intact. That culminated in the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jessica Bateman, proposing a “significant reduction of the bill’s scope” over the weekend, in hopes of getting enough votes to advance it out of the House.

Bateman’s “striker amendment” would alter several key aspects of the original bill, including: raising the minimum population for affected cities to 30,000; capping the increased housing options near transit stops at quadplexes; eliminating the inclusion of duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes in areas outside of transit zones; reducing affected areas to those within a quarter-mile of major transit stops,” and measuring that distance “as the crow flies” rather than by walking distance.

Economist: Gov. Inslee’s proposal to rework single-family zoning ‘a good start’

Bateman expressed that the changes are both “disappointing and frustrating,” but she believes getting the bill passed in any form is a better outcome than having it fail entirely.

“I need a bill that can pass,” she said on Twitter. “… I’ve put everything into moving this bill and I feel your frustration. And, I do believe that the striker would be an improvement to the status quo.”

Bateman also noted that she still hopes improvements can be made once the bill is passed over to the state Senate. Currently, HB 1782 is under consideration in the House Rules Committee, and could be advanced out of the House by Tuesday.

Local News

Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
15 hours ago
Capitol Hill shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Investigation underway after man shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

Police are investigating after a man was shot in the hip in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News and Bridget Chavez, KIRO 7 News

Redmond police using vehicle-mounted GPS tracking system to track down fleeing suspects

The Redmond Police Department started using StarChase Pursuit in January to safely pursue fleeing suspects.
2 days ago
Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Murder of Kent teacher calls attention to mental health crisis in Washington

A Tacoma mom stabbed and killed on Wednesday has been identified as 66-year-old Gail Gese, a teacher at Cedar Heights Middle School in Kent.
2 days ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
2 days ago
FILE - An Amazon company logo on the company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany, March ...
Associated Press

Amazon violated labor law with delivery app

A Spanish court has ruled that Amazon broke labor laws by forcing more than 2,000 delivery drivers to use an app that the company controlled for scheduling work and payments and requiring them to use their own cars and cellphones on the job.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
‘I need a bill that can pass’: Proposal to rework state’s single-family zoning sheds core pieces