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CC&Rs VS. Middle Housing Bill

Friday Video Publish Date June 9, 2023
Navigating Washington's Middle Housing Bill and CC&R's
Insights from Annie Fitzsimmons, WR Legal Hotline Lawyer

Washington REALTORS® has been hard at work during the last legislative session, securing several wins that will benefit your business. In this short article, I want to focus on a specific bill called the Middle Housing Bill. I'll leave the technical aspects of that bill to our WR Government Affairs Director Nathan Gorton and our Director of Public Policy Bill Clarke, but in the meantime, I’d like to cover one topic that has been causing concern among our members…the interaction between the Middle Housing Bill and existing CC&R (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) requirements within subdivisions.

The Middle Housing Bill and CC&R's

Specifically, the question I’ve been receiving is whether the new law allowing higher-density housing would override CC&R's that prohibit additional construction on existing single-family residential lots. The Middle Housing Bill does not supersede CC&R's in this scenario if the CC&Rs are in place by July 23, 2023. If there are already CC&R limitations on increased density by July 23rd, 2023 (the effective date of the new law), those CC&R's will continue to govern. Therefore, if the CC&R's specify that only one home is allowed per lot, the association is not obligated to accept higher-density housing within the community.

However, it's important to note that if there are no CC&R's restricting density before the effective date of the Middle Housing Bill, then newly created CC&R's will not prevent implementation of the bill.

If you have any questions on this topic or any other real estate related matter, please don't hesitate to ask me. You can submit your questions here at The Legal Hotline. Thank you for being a valued member of Washington REALTORS®. Your support and involvement in the association are greatly appreciated.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice. Always consult with your Managing Broker and/or legal counsel.