An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a residential living unit providing independent living facilities and permanent provisions for sleeping, cooking, sanitation, and living on the same lot as a single-family house, duplex, triplex, townhome, or other housing unit. As of July 1, 2021, cities are prohibited from requiring the provision of off-street parking for ADUs within a quarter mile of a high capacity transportation system stop, a rail stop, or certain bus stops unless the city determines that on-street parking is infeasible for the ADU.
Cities with more than 20,000 people, and counties with more than 125,000 people or that are required to plan under the Growth Management Act are required to incorporate in their development and zoning regulations recommendations made by the then Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development for encouraging the development of accessory apartments in 1993.
In the context of an accessory dwelling unit, an owner-occupancy requirement is a mandate that the property owner live on the property on which an ADU is located.
A short-term rental is a lodging use, outside of a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast, in which a room is offered for a fee for fewer than 30 consecutive nights.
After July 1, 2024, a jurisdiction may not impose or enforce an owner-occupancy requirement on a lot containing an ADU, unless an ADU on the lot is being offered for short-term rental. If a jurisdiction has updated its comprehensive plan regulations after July 1, 2021, the deadline is extended to the jurisdiction’s next comprehensive plan update. After the applicable deadline for a jurisdiction has passed, the prohibition on owner-occupancy takes effect in any city or county that has failed to take action as required.