April 18, 2024 9:53 am

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County passes ordinance to allow DADUs to be constructed on rural lots

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., March 9, 2022 – This morning, the Snohomish County Council unanimously passed Ordinance 22-006 allowing for Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADU) to be constructed on rural lots within the county.

Councilman Jared Mead motioned to approve the amendment which was seconded by Councilwoman Stephanie Wright.

On June 9, 2021, the county unanimously voted to pass a series of ADU reforms for both urban and rural areas of Snohomish County. However, the original ordinance left restrictions to Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADU) in rural areas of Snohomish County. Today’s amendment, introduced by Councilman Nehring, now allows for DADU construction.

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ADU vs DADUs

“This will provide a great option for homeowners for several potential uses, including but not limited to a home for elderly relatives,” wrote Councilman Nate Nehring in a Facebook post. “As housing becomes less and less affordable, it is critical that we think outside the box to allow opportunities like this for families in Snohomish County.”

During today’s meeting, all four public comments were in support of the ordinance. All shared the similar sentiment that this action by the council will help multigeneration families to live near one another and provide some relief to the housing shortage in the county.

“The public and my constituents have asked for this, “Councilman Low said before voting for the ordinance. “For me it is about having more affordable housing options.”

What is a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit?

A Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU) is a dwelling unit that meets the following criteria:

  • It is located on the same lot, under the same ownership as, and subordinate to a single-family dwelling unit;
  • It is physically separated from and located in a different structure than the primary dwelling unit;
  • It is intended for use as a complete, independent living facility; and
  • It includes facilities for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation for not more than one family.
  • Detached Accessory Dwelling Units are also called Detached Accessory Apartments.

How do I get a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit permit?

A permit application for a Detached ADU should be submitted online at MyBuildingPermit.com. For information on using our online permitting system, please see the following web page: https://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/3920/Online-Permitting. If you need additional assistance with the online process, call 425-388-3311.

A bulletin published by the Snohomish County Planning and Development Services that will answer most of your questions regarding DADUs can be accessed here.

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