Public hearing held on Vick’s legislation to allow accessory dwelling units in rural areas

Local governments may soon get some assistance in allowing development of more affordable housing if a bill sponsored by Rep. Brandon Vick continues to move through the legislative process.

On Tuesday, the Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee held a public hearing on Vick's House Bill 2503. The measure would give local governments additional flexibility in their development and zoning regulations so they could allow for the development and placement of accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

“Working on affordable housing issues this interim, I quickly discovered that fewer and fewer of our baby boomers, or members of the 'silver tsunami,' are able to age in place. Many want to be close to family so they look to construct accessory dwelling units or mother-in-law apartments,” said Vick, R-Vancouver. “Unfortunately, what I found in my conversations with local governments is that you cannot construct the dwellings outside the Urban Growth Areas (UGAs). My legislation would address that.”

Vick pointed out the intent of the legislation is not to allow for new, large developments, but only provide affordable housing for those who are looking for solutions to the affordable housing crisis facing our entire state.

“Whether it is our aging population that wants a little independence yet needs to be close to family or the student who is just out of college and cannot afford a home, the ability to construct the unit provides families with some options,” Vick said.

Vick has worked closely with Clark County Councilor John Blom to develop the language for HB 2503, and advocate on its behalf. Councilor Blom traveled to Olympia to testify in support of the legislation.

The bill is permissive and not a mandate on counties. Each county can develop their rules and regulations surrounding their ADUs as they deem necessary.

The Washington State Realtors Association also testified in favor of the legislation.

The committee is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday, Jan. 25.


Washington State House Republican Communications