To help more residents own and rent accessory dwelling units (ADUs), the City is currently seeking submissions of designs for detached ADUs, often called DADUs or backyard cottages. Pre-approved designs will offer a faster, easier, and more predictable path to permit and construct a DADU. Homeowners choosing a pre-approved plan will pay reduced permit fees and get their permit within 2-6 weeks for sites without protected trees or environmentally critical areas and that do not need drainage review.
Architects, designers, and builders interested in submitting a plan should review the selection criteria and submission requirements outlined in our Submission Guide. For those not attending our January 14 information session, we’ve also posted a summary of the questions and answers from that meeting. Design submissions are due February 18, 2020. A selection committee will review submissions and identify 6-10 plans that SDCI permitting staff will pre-approve for compliance with certain structural codes.
We’ll feature the pre-approved designs in an online gallery with images, description, and information about the designer. Homeowners can browse the gallery, choose a design, and connect with its designer to proceed with the necessary steps to permit the DADU on their site. Builders must still acquire permits and inspections related to zoning, site preparation, utility connections, and other site-specific requirements.
Pre-approved plans are one of several strategies Mayor Jenny A. Durkan’s has called for to help more people be able to own and rent ADUs. When she signed legislation in July 2019 removing code barriers to the creation of these small homes, Mayor Durkan also directed SDCI and the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) to collaborate on additional opportunities to streamline permitting, support affordability, and monitor ADU production over time.
For other questions or to be added to our project email list, contact DADUplans@seattle.gov.