Dear Community Member,

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2021 Housing Action Plan public outreach process, and to everyone who has continued to be involved as the City works on making code changes that enact the strategies listed in the Housing Action Plan. The Planning Services Department and the Plan Commission have been discussing seven initial proposed amendments, which you can read about at 


Spokane is a city of choice for residents, and is attractive to future residents thanks to our beautiful location, robust public park system, unique neighborhoods, and vibrant downtown. The Shaping Spokane Housing project aims to update city codes to allow for more housing types in more residential zones, to encourage construction of more market-rate and affordable housing options for all residents. New types of housing can help city-wide affordability by offering residents in all stages of life. Young professionals, empty nesters, growing families, and new residents require more options for where we call home.

City Council Approves Residential Code Amendments

Spokane City Council unanimously approved to adopt code amendments to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), Lot Size Transitions, and Short Plat Notification and Fees. Following some amendments to the language that were discussed and voted upon at their 3:30 Briefing Session, City Council has adopted the following code changes: 


  • Maximum detached ADU size is 975 sf or 75% of house size, whichever is greater.
  • Removed minimum lot size to build an ADU.
  • A Floor Area Ratio (FAR) bonus to help small lots be able to construct ADUs.
  • Lots <5,000 sq ft= 0.7
  • Lots <7,200 sq ft= 0.6
  • Specific building coverage increase to 20% for detached ADUs on lots under 5,500 sf.
  • Detached ADU wall & roof height increase to 17 ft and 25 ft.
  • Owner occupancy is removed from RTF, RMF, and RHD zones.
  • Owner Occupancy is removed in RSF zone UNLESS you wish to have the home or the ADU as a short-term rental, then you are still required to live on site.
  • Only 1 parking space required for an ADU with 2 bedrooms and +1 space for each bedroom after.
  • Permit an ADU on a site with any principal structure, such as a duplex or triplex, in RSF, RTF, RMF, and RHD zones.
  • The lot size transition requirement in SMC 17C.110.200 has been removed to encourage construction of more housing units.
  • Modified notification for small subdivisions (short plats).
  • For small subdivisions in already-developed areas, notification and commenting on a proposal would be accomplished through Neighborhood Council organizations.
  • For small subdivisions in undeveloped areas, notice would be mailed to nearby property owners and a public comment period would be required. Small subdivisions creating five to nine lots would require a site posting as well. This code change preserves comment-gathering for neighborhoods while streamlining the permit process, reducing the cost of new housing.
  • Preliminary and Final Short Plats Fee are reduced.
  • For small subdivisions in already-developed areas the Preliminary Plat fee is reduced to $1,085. Small subdivisions in undeveloped areas will still pay $4,325 plus $60 per acre for the Preliminary Plat fee.
  • For small subdivisions in already-developed areas the Final Plat fee is reduced to $350 plus $30 per acre. Small subdivisions in undeveloped areas will still pay $1,820 plus $30 per acre for the Final Plat fee.

Making a Difference

Laura Dierks postponed building an ADU hoping the code amendments would go through allowing her to build a two bedroom unit rather than just one to share. This means four generations of her family can support each other and achieve affordable housing. 

Coming Up

Stay tuned! In July 2022 Plan Commission will continue to work on development code changes to support attached homes, duplexes, and design standards. We will send out information when those dates are scheduled for workshops.


Recognizing the housing emergency, Mayor Woodward and City Council announced on June 23rd the kick-off of the Building Opportunity and Choices for All pilot program. These interim code changes would focus on greater flexibility for attached homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes. Details of the proposed code changes were discussed in the first 30 minutes of Monday's Public Infrastructure and Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting. 

We want your feedback!
You can review a description of each proposal on the project webpage, which will be updated as the draft revisions evolve.
  • Provide written comment in email to [email protected]. This email list will be notified regarding additional opportunities for participation.
  • Sign up for email updates and announcements here.
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