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Kirkland unveils new programs to create more housing options

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Kirkland unveiled two new programs in its quest to create more housing options within the city.

Last month, the growing Eastside city became the latest municipality in King County to add a pre-approved Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU) program that offers a faster, more affordable, and simplified way to create an accessory dwelling unit on a property. By using one of the pre-approved plans, a homeowner is eligible for expedited permit review.

Also approved was a new High Performing Green Buildings Program (HPGB), which is designed to encourage greater energy efficiency and improved sustainability. It too streamlines and expedites the permitting process.

To use a pre-approved plan, a property owner contacts a designer through Kirkland’s website, working with that designer through the permitting process. A fee (or royalty) not to exceed $1,000 allows use of the plan, according to an announcement from the city.

Designers, architects and builders who are interested in participating in the program are encouraged to review a 5-page submission guide.

The new HPGB program incentivizes the construction of environmentally sound residential and commercial buildings. It encourages greater energy efficiency and improved sustainability resulting in greater water efficiency, better indoor air quality, and the use of more sustainable and durable materials.

Kirkland has offered an expedited permit review for certified high performing single-family buildings since 2008. The new program expands the incentives for all new building construction as well as certified high performing residential remodels. High Performing Green Buildings are defined as “those which deliver a relatively higher level of energy-efficiency performance than that required by building codes or other regulations.

To qualify for expedited permit review under the HPGB program, applicants must achieve certification of at least one program from a list of eight.

Kirkland was the primary location of a “Missing Middle Housing” tour for elected officials and policymakers. The event, held in March, was organized by Seattle King County REALTORS® in collaboration with other housing industry organizations and advocates.

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