This Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) removed barriers to encourage the construction of attached Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Bellevue and create a pathway for separate ownership of ADUs.
On July 5, 2022, in building upon the City's 2017 Affordable Housing Strategy, the City Council prioritized a set of "Next Right Work" items related to the production of additional housing and affordable housing in the city. Three items were prioritized:
- Removing barriers to micro-apartments
- Allow higher FAR (Floor Area Ratio) for residential (or unlimited FAR or Dwelling Units, DUs, per acre)
- Reduce permit fees for affordable housing projects
In addition, the Council directed staff to scope two additional Next Right Work actions for initiation:
- Encourage Middle-Scale Housing, such as: Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs), Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), and duplex, triplex, quadplexes, including mechanism for separate ownership
- Simplify the permitting process and expedite permitting for affordable housing
On Jan. 17, 2023, the City Council initiated the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Reform and Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) as Phase 1 of the Middle-Scale Housing action to encourage the construction of ADUs in existing and new homes, with a mechanism for separate ownership. This Next Right Work action is consistent with Affordable Housing Strategy Action B-2, one of 21 actions identified under five strategy areas, which encourages updating the ADU standards to add housing capacity in the city.
ADUs provide diversity in housing size, type, geographic location, and cultural options to help ensure that all residents are welcomed and that long-term residents can remain in the city. Attached ADUs have been allowed in the city since 1993, and very few changes have been made to the ADU standards in the land use code since its original enactment.
- Removed owner-occupancy requirement: Property owners are no longer required to reside on the same site as the ADU.
- Removed condominium prohibition: ADUs may now be sold to a separate owner from the primary residence owner.
- Removed design controls: ADUs do not require any additional design restrictions beyond those for a single-family residence.
- Revised size limits: The size limits of ADUs were increased from 800 sq. ft. to 1,200 sq. ft. or 40% of the structure, whichever is larger.
- Revised off-street parking requirements:
- 1 space for ADUs larger than 1,000 sq. ft.
- For ADUs larger than 2,000 sq. ft.:
- 1 space on lots less than 6,000 sq. ft.
- 2 spaces on lots larger than 6,000 sq. ft.
- No parking is required for:
- ADUs smaller than 1,000 sq. ft.
- ADUs within 1/2 miles of frequent transit
- Revised process improvements: Registration and noticing requirements no longer apply for ADUs. Building permits may be required. ADU permitting data is available in the city's Open Data Portal.
This LUCA did not address detached ADUs, which are currently not allowed in Bellevue. Additional policy work is needed before detached ADUs can be allowed under the LUC, which will occur as part of the Comprehensive Plan Periodic Update effort.
An overview of the new regulations and permit process for ADUs will be added to the city's website as procedures are updated following adoption of this LUCA.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Notice of Application and Community Meeting
- February 28 Info Session Presentation
- Notice of Public Hearing
- Ordinance No. 6746
LUCA Schedule and Public Notice
|2/16/2023||Notice of Application & Community Meeting||Weekly Permit Bulletin|
|2/28/2023||Community Meeting (via Zoom)||Calendar Event Information|
|3/22/2023||Planning Commission Study Session||Planning Commission Meeting Agenda Materials|
|4/20/2023||Notice of Public Hearing and SEPA Determination||Weekly Permit Bulletin|
|5/10/2023||Planning Commission Public Hearing||Planning Commission Meeting Agenda Materials|
|6/12/2023||City Council Study Session||City Council Meeting Agenda Materials|
|7/17/2023||City Council Action||City Council Meeting Agenda Materials|