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We want to ensure our residential building professionals and community members are able to do what they do – live and work productively.

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Building Codes

  • Lake Stevens Planning Commission Recommends Fences and Walls Code Changes

    Posted on Jun 7, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Industry Issues
    The recommended changes include a six-foot maximum height on residential fences and now an eight-foot maximum height on retaining walls before having to terrace, as well as an option to reduce the terracing buffer to 18” (instead of three feet) by using cascading vegetation.
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  • Fire Sprinkler Amendment Clears IRC TAG

    Posted on May 31, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    On May 29, the International Residential Code Technical Advisory Group voted 3-2 to advance a proposed amendment to the IRC that would mandate fire sprinklers in all newly constructed townhomes in our state. Your association submitted a comment letter opposing the amendment due to the negative impacts it would have on housing costs.
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  • SDCI Issues Revised Rule on Yards, Setbacks and Gross Floor Area

    Posted on May 31, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    The now-revised draft director’s rule would have changed a long-standing practice of measuring gross floor area from the inside surface of the exterior wall to measuring from the inside face of the stud, which in some cases would have resulted in a loss of dwelling units.
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  • Kirkland Proposing Amending Cottage, Carriage, and Two/Three Unit Home Zoning

    Posted on May 24, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    The city is deeply engaged in conversations to bring more equitable, diverse, and attainable housing product of all types to Kirkland and to provide more missing middle housing through zoning and code changes.
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  • Seattle Can Now Move Forward on ADU Reform

    Posted on May 17, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Advocacy
    • Industry Issues
    Queen Anne Community Council’s appeal of the City of Seattle’s backyard cottage reform has been dismissed. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was found to be enough and City Council can now move forward on legislation that mirrors the proposed alternatives that were studied.
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  • Kirkland Updates FAR and Lot Coverage Requirements

    Posted on May 10, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    On May 7, the Kirkland City Council adopted new floor area ratio (FAR) and lot coverage regulations, which will go into effect on July 1, 2019. City staff began working on this issue to address community concerns about new home perceived building mass.
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  • King County Delays Ingress/Egress Study

    Posted on May 10, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    The report, requested by the King County Council, is now due June 2020. The council’s request for the report is driven by a desire to improve public safety, especially during inclement weather, to ensure emergency vehicle access.
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  • Seattle Releases Draft ADU Legislation

    Posted on May 10, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    Studies show that ADUs are a cost-effective way to increase housing supply. Allowing more ADUs was one of the HALA recommendations nearly four years ago (July 2015), yet because of legal challenges, the council has not been able to act.
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  • Everett City Council Adopts Amendment Authorizing Townhouse Unit Lot Subdivisions

    Posted on Apr 26, 2019 in:
    • Building Codes
    • Advocacy
    • Industry Issues
    On April 24, the Everett City Council unanimously adopted an amendment which adds E-1 MUO, UR, UM, and ULI zones to the New Townhouse Unit Lot Subdivisions Code.
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  • MBAKS Highlights Cottage Housing Ordinances, ADU Benefits

    Posted on Oct 16, 2018 in:
    • Built Green
    • Industry Issues
    • Building Codes
    • Issue Briefs
    • Advocacy
    On October 2, 2018, we took to social media to discuss the benefits of more flexible accessory dwelling unit (ADU) rules and various cottage housing ordinances throughout our two-county region.
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Environment

Growth Management

  • MBAKS Comments on Vision 2050 DSEIS

    Posted on May 3, 2019 in:
    • Growth Management
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    As part of the Puget Sound Regional Council’s (PSRC) Vision 2040 update, a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (DSEIS) is evaluating three growth alternatives: stay the course, reset urban growth, and transit-focused growth.
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Housing Affordability

  • Olympia Update: Governor Signs MBAKS Priority Bill Into Law

    Posted on May 10, 2019 in:
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    • Housing Affordability
    Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law HB 1923, a top legislative priority for MBAKS, as it combines pro-housing tools like options for increased urban capacity for housing, grants for positive planning, and more into one measure.
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  • MBAKS Event Showcases Need for More Housing

    Posted on Oct 25, 2018 in:
    • Housing Affordability
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    With more than 220 in attendance, MBAKS Executive Director Kat Sims kicked off the 2018 Housing Solutions Breakfast by unveiling the association’s Action Plan for Housing. These and other ideas discussed at the breakfast are intended to increase housing supply and eliminate unnecessary and costly hurdles to new home construction, without compromising environmental or consumer protections.
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Permitting

  • Snohomish County Implementing Final Plat Process Changes

    Posted on Jun 7, 2019 in:
    • Permitting
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    Included in those recommendations are assigning a person responsible for final plats, weekly status meetings, and more.
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  • Association Working to Improve Snohomish County Final Plat Approval Process

    Posted on May 24, 2019 in:
    • Permitting
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    Your association and interested members are working with the county to improve their processes and structure. Urging the county to conduct regular prioritization of projects and expectations will make up part of our recommendations.
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  • 13 New Positions Will Be Added to the City of Seattle’s Land Use Division

    Posted on May 17, 2019 in:
    • Permitting
    • Industry Issues
    • Advocacy
    Your association has been communicating with the city of Seattle your frustration about extended wait times for plan reviews and permit approvals. The department will soon be seeking applicants who will be placed throughout SDCI to address the backlog.
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  • State Supreme Court Win for Industry on LUPA, Tort Case

    Posted on Aug 24, 2018 in:
    • Permitting
    • Advocacy
    • Industry Issues
    n August 9, the Washington State Supreme Court favorably ruled in the matter of Maytown Sand and Gravel v. Thurston County. An unfavorable ruling could have meant that a land use permit applicant would have to file a LUPA appeal on their own project as a prerequisite for a tort claim, even where the property owner was not adversely affected by the land use decision itself.
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Taxes and Fees

Vesting

Workforce Development