Housing Action Plan Code Changes Phase 1


June 27 City Council Approval: Accessory Dwelling Units, Lot Size Transition, and Short Plats

  • City Council unanimously voted to approve proposed code changes on Monday, June 27th
  • Code changes went into effect on August 7, 2022
  • Property owners or applicants interested in submitting permits are encouraged to speak with Current Planning on application requirements. You can visit the Development Services Center on the 3rd Floor of City Hall, call 509.625.6188, or email Current Planning at planningreview@spokanecity.org

Carrying Out the Housing Action Plan

Spokane has been working for years to address housing need while preserving community character and livability. To make changes based on the well-informed strategies in the Spokane Housing Action Plan (HAP), the City has identified several code amendments that could be adopted as changes to the Spokane Municipal Code. The proposed changes have been guided by Mayor Woodward's July 26, 2021 Housing Emergency Proclamation and the City Council's HAP Implementation Plan.

Phase 1 Changes

Phase 1 code changes directly acted on strategies listed in the Housing Action Plan. Phase 1 increased flexibility of development standards for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), removed the Lot Size Transition requirement that forced some lots to be larger than required, and modified Short Plat notification requirements in addition to reducing application fees.

The Shaping Spokane Housing program kicked off in November of 2021, and initially proposed changes that would increase housing supply, variety, and affordability by allowing greater flexibility for developing attached homes (townhomes) and accessory dwelling units (ADUs), as well as development regulations to encourage construction of duplexes, in addition to improvements to codified permit processes.

Code changes related to attached homes, duplexes, and design standards were folded into the Building Opportunity and Choices for All interim zoning ordinance that City Council approved on July 18, 2022. The Housing Action Plan Code Changes Phase 2 focus on changes to environmental reviews required under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and how the City regulates short-term rentals.

Illustration of the different types of accessory dwelling units, including detached, detached above a garage, attached addition, internal basement, internal attic, and detached with breezeway.

Phase 1 Code Topics

Accessory Dwelling Units

Increase flexibility of development and design standards for Accessory Dwelling Units.

Lot Size Transition Requirements

Remove requirement to encourage construction of more housing.

Short Plat Application Process

Streamline the notification and commenting period and reduce the Preliminary and Final Short Plat application fees.

Public Hearing Process

Plan Commission Workshops

Follow the video links to view and listen to recordings of the Plan Commission workshop presentations and discussion.

Email Updates

Emailed announcement about the Shaping Spokane Housing project.

Past Open Houses

The City of Spokane Planning Services department hosted two virtual open houses to provide information about the code amendments. The question and answer portions are included.

Contact Information

City of Spokane
Department of Planning Services
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201

Amanda Beck, AICP
Assistant Planner II