Legalize Your Existing Backyard Cottage by June 30
Seattle’s DPD is putting out a call to homeowners to legalize their existing, unauthorized backyard cottages without penalty before June 30, 2010. Owners can apply for a building permit up until June 30, and have until December 31, 2010 to obtain the final inspection of the unit. There will be no penalties for owners that take advantage of this grace period. The fine for having an illegal backyard dwelling unit could entail per-day penalties and a one-time penalty of $5,000.
Usually, only floor plans would be needed for this type of permit application. Permit fees will vary with the size of the backyard cottage. Read the City’s Client Assistance Memo 116B for more information regarding requirements for backyard cottages. The city council passed an ordinance on December 4th, 2009 to allow backyard cottages (DADU’s) in all of Seattle. Previously, they had only been allowed in SE Seattle during a two-year pilot project. They also have lots of useful information on their Backyard Cottage website.
Feel free to contact us for any help with navigating the often tricky waters of permitting your project with Seattle’s DPD. We are currently working with clients in Ballard on a new backyard cottage that will be under construction this Summer.