This year, multiple bills have been introduced into our Legislature, which if passed will decrease the ability of cities and counties to control zoning. Some of these bills will have a great impact on single family resident neighborhoods. Unfortunately, voters are generally unaware of these bills and thus will not be able to support or oppose them.

For example, Senate Bill 5235 and House Bill 1220, each of which has passed its house of origin, essentially prevent a county or city such as King, Bellevue or Redmond from: a) requiring that the owner of a lot on which there is an accessory dwelling (ADU) reside or occupy the ADU or other housing unit on the lot b) having full control of the number of unrelated persons who can reside in a home or on a lot.

Many homeowners believe that to assure upkeep of an ADU, the owner should reside on the premises. Many homeowners fear that if the number of unrelated persons living in a home is not controlled, homes’ upkeep will deteriorate and neighborhood character will change.

Cities and counties should have freedom to make laws relating to zoning and property requirements, as they have the best knowledge of their region.

Diana Thompson, Bellevue