After months of deliberations, the Olympia Planning Commission has recommended a series of zoning-related changes that would allow more multifamily housing in low-density residential neighborhoods.
The changes — called “missing middle,” referring to housing types that fall between single-family homes and large apartment buildings — were proposed by city staff. The planning commission has been deliberating the more than 40 changes since April.
At its meeting Monday, it signed off on the changes but with a few tweaks:
- Triplexes, fourplexes and courtyard apartments would be allowed in R4-8 residential zoning districts within 300 feet of a transit route or commercial district, instead of within 600 feet.
- Single-room occupancy buildings would be required to have one off-street parking space for every four rooms, instead of one space for every room.
- Duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, courtyard apartments and townhomes would be required to provide one off-street parking space for each unit and one and a half spaces if there is no on-street parking in the area.
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Next the changes will go to the Olympia City Council, which will have the final say.
The planning commission plans to send a letter to the City Council explaining its decision and highlighting areas where members disagreed. Those include allowing new duplexes in R4-8 districts, removing off-street parking requirements for accessory dwelling units, and no longer requiring property owners with accessory dwelling units to live on site.