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Legalize that unauthorized backyard cottage

The city of Seattle legalized backyard cottages (or “detached accessory dwelling units”) last month, and it’s now giving owners of previously built but unauthorized cottages a grace period to legalize it without penalties.
Homeowners have until June 30 to apply for a building permit, and Dec. 31 to obtain final inspection of the unit.

Owners who submit for a building permit before June 30, and receive a final inspection before December 30, 2010, will not be subject to violation penalties. Owners who do not take advantage of this grace period opportunity and are found to be in violation may be subject to civil penalties including per-day penalties and a one-time penalty of $5,000.
Permit fees for backyard cottages will vary. It often takes several weeks to obtain a permit, so please plan accordingly.
For information on permit requirements for backyard cottages, it is recommended that owners begin by reading DPD’s Client Assistance Memo (CAM) 116B, Establishing a Backyard Cottage. Additional information on permit requirements for backyard cottages can be found on the project website, or by contacting the Permit Specialist line at (206) 684-8850. For further information about legalizing a backyard cottage that is currently occupied by tenants, please contact Diane Davis, [email protected].