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Washington state to consider ban on single family zoning

Single-family American craftsman house with blue sky background. (Getty Images)

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Single-family zoning could be eliminated in most cities in Washington state with more than 10,000 people, lawmakers said.

The proposal would mean local governments would be required to allow triplexes, quadplexes, sixplexes, stacked flats, townhouses, and courtyard apartments mixed into classic suburban neighborhoods.

“It blends into single-family neighborhoods but is available at a much lower price point than a single-family home. These housing types are more affordable than detached, single-dwelling houses because land costs, which account for a significant portion of a home’s value, can be shared across several households,” Democratic state Sen. Mona Das told KATU-TV in support of the bill.

The price of the average home in Vancouver is around $350,000, according to online real estate websites Zillow and Redfin.

It is unclear how the bill is expected to impact current homeowners and property values.

Republican state Sen. Hans Zeiger raised concerns about the bill in a hearing suggesting this decision should be left to local officials.

Oregon passed a similar ban on single-family zones in 2019 and local governments have until the end of the year to come up with a plan to implement the new law, officials said.

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