Latest on “small lot development” issue

One of the controversial issues facing the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood and other neighborhoods throughout the city is the construction of multiple houses on lots that were originally intended for a single home. This has happened as a result of developers taking advantage of loopholes in the city regulations.

Past GSNC President Dick Miller shared the following information with us on July 1:

“The Dept. of Planning just released their proposed new regulations for “infill” or small lot development in single family 5,000 sf residential zones. The regulations are at this link:, and the Seattle Small Lot website is My fear is that these regulations are so complex and contain so many “exceptions” that over the years our neighborhoods will be eroded or destroyed. This is why I hope people will write or call the City Council and ask them to write simple, loophole free regulations, like those I suggest in my first document.

For people who want to know how the developers think and the arguments they make, I wrote the second document.

For people who would like to be updated about developments citywide, they can sign up at: and to learn more about the group and the issue, visit:”

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One Response to Latest on “small lot development” issue

  1. jason williams says:

    this hasn’t happened only because of developers knowing of the ‘loopholes’. it is also because of the homeowners that are aware that their legal description reads lots 9-10 of blank (lots 9 and 10??? i have more than one lot…let me ask the city about this…)…. even though their land is only 6,000 total square feet in a 5000 square foot zone. i am one of those people. you want to prevent this from happening even though it has been an option for longer than i have been alive? do you understand what that means to your neighbor who has been sitting on that historical lot for 20 years? it means $50,000 or maybe $500,000 in additional land value depending on where you live. it is easy to push that on the buyer but the seller (me – your neighbor) has a way more to lose. I have already priced that into my retirement. call it a greedy developer. really? you should read the land use code. it is a lot easier than the 10,000s of pages of the IRS code. there are only a few sections within the landuse code that state whether or not you have a dividable lot. you too can learn it in a morning. i did. and i have been sitting on that investment ever since. the developer just looked at it and hopes to get it. that is my son’s college education. stop and think.

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