I was disappointed after reading the stance of the candidates for Kirkland City Council on ADUs (accessory dwelling units) in our single-family neighborhoods.
I am not sure who they believe they are representing, but it certainly is not me or my neighbors. By changing zoning rules to make it easier for ADUs to be built in single family (SFR) neighborhoods, we are essentially creating a backdoor for the SFR zoning to become multi-family zoning: two families on every lot.
Do we need more affordable housing? Absolutely. But housing density is better achieved in the many locations in our city already zoned for taller buildings and better access to transit. One of the arguments for ADUs is that rental income will help seniors stay in their homes, but seniors don’t want to become property managers and share their backyards with strangers.
What they want is a break on their property tax so they don’t get priced out of their neighborhoods. There is already a property tax break on the books for seniors; maybe it’s time to expand it and tackle the issue head on.
I fear that ADU proliferation in single-family neighborhoods is going to have the unintended consequence of diminishing what Kirkland residents love about their neighborhoods. Let’s learn from Seattle’s mistakes and put density where it belongs — anywhere but single-family neighborhoods.