Seeking Submissions From Architects, Designers And Builders
To Reduce Permit Fees: Resulting In Permits In 2-6 weeks

To help more residents own and rent detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs), the City is seeking submissions from architects, designers, and builders for plans that will be pre-approved for construction permits.

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan directed City staff to select plans for pre-approval to make the process to design and permit DADUs — often called backyard cottages — faster, easier, cheaper, and more predictable. Homeowners choosing a pre-approved plan will pay reduced permit fees and get their permit faster — in 2-6 weeks rather than several months for sites that do not involve protected trees or environmentally critical areas.

Architects and designers interested in submitting a plan should review the design criteria and requirements outlined in our new Pre-approved DADU Submission Guide. The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) and Office of Planning and Community Development gathered input through a public survey and stakeholder conversations to inform the design criteria.

Designers and builders can submit DADU designs through February 17, 2020 that fulfill the criteria and follow the submission requirements outlined in our Submission Guide. A selection committee will review submissions and identify 6-10 plans that SDCI permitting staff will pre-approve for compliance with certain structural codes.

Pre-approved plans will be displayed 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.

What Is An ADU?

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are small, secondary dwellings allowed in residential zones:

  • A detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU), often called a backyard cottage or carriage house, is an ADU located in a separate structure from the principal dwelling unit (i.e., the main house).
  • An attached accessory dwelling unit (AADU), often called an in-law apartment or basement suite, is an ADU located within or attached to the main house

Seattle is open to submissions from individuals and firms outside Washington.

Photo Credit: Digz 2 Go: Designed By Paul Nyulassie