Opponents of monster houses upset over new loophole

by: David Ham Updated:

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SEATTLE - Opponents of so-called "monster houses" in Seattle say city planners have opened up a new loophole.

Seattle City Council members voted to extend a moratorium on building houses on substandard lots.

It's to give city planners more time to come up with new regulations.

Planners recently released revisions to the proposed changes that include restricting the height on houses built on substandard lots to two stories, and they've also suggested the "100 Percent Rule."

"The department of planning and development was making some progress in closing those loopholes, but in their latest round of recommendations they've thrown in a new loophole which is called the 100 Percent Rule," said Peter Hughes, who has been part of the movement to oppose multiple houses on one lot.

Essentially the 100 Percent Rule would mean someone could build two houses on one lot if that lot is twice the size of most single lots nearby.

"Now this new proposal would free up more of these small lots for big home construction," said Hughes.

"I personally don't see why the 100 Percent Rule would be a problem, as it makes the lot consistent with other lots on the block, but open to hearing other thoughts," said Seattle City Councilman Richard Conlin.

City planners will be taking public comment on the new recommendations until Oct. 16.

The council is expected to start public hearings on the recommendations starting in November