Eatonville council contemplates accessory dwellings

There’s no place like home, although the addition of an accessory dwelling unit caused some consternation among members of the Eatonville Town Council discussing proposed changes to the town’s code.

The conversation about ADU's — a second dwelling unit for use as a completely independent or semi-independent unit — was prompted by a summer recommendation by the Planning Commission to allow detached, as opposed to attached-only, ADU's in single-family zones to expand affordable housing.

“Instead of solving a problem, we’re just creating more problems,” Councilmember Robert Thomas said at the Dec. 13 meeting in making a motion for the recommendations to be sent back to the Planning Commission to prohibit ADU's in single-family zoned districts. “We’re going to further create the atmosphere to turn our single-family housing districts into ghettos.”

Councilmember Emily McFadden had a different take.

“I like the idea of allowing ADU's,” she said. “I myself would like to build one on my lot so that my mother can move in. I think that multi-generational living is something that is coming back around, and this definitely opens that up for people to make aging parents or other family members come into an area where we have almost no housing available at all right now.”

Thomas’ motion died for lack of a second. The rest of the council voted to pass a motion directing staff to prepare the Planning Commission’s recommendations in the form of an ordinance for the council to consider in the future.

In other business, the council voted to update the city’s official zoning map reflecting a site-specific rezone for the property at 331 and 333 Washington Ave. N.

The council approved changes to an ordinance related to issuing park permits for an organized assembly, entertainment, demonstrations and public gatherings, including posting approved park use applications on the town’s website.

The council authorized the execution of a letter of understanding with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, regarding a within-grade increase for employees, as well as recognizing Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”), which marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed.

The council authorized the mayor to execute the continuation of an interlocal agreement with Pierce County for comprehensive solid waste and hazardous waste management planning.


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