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Bill could ban single-family zoning in Washington state

The proposed legislation would impact cities with a population of 15,000 or more starting after July 1. If passed, over 80 cities will have to change zoning laws.

Editor's note: The above video aired in March 2019. 

New legislation has been proposed in Olympia that would restrict single-family zoning across Washington state. 

SB 6536 doesn't mandate that cities build multi-family homes, but rather allows for the construction of duplexes, townhouses and courtyard apartments in more neighborhoods that were previously limited to single-family homes. 

Bill sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Mona Das, said that these housing types are more affordable than detached, single-dwelling houses

This would impact cities with a population of 15,000 or more starting after July 1, 2020.

RELATED: Tacoma residents split over new zoning changes

Under this proposal, over 80 cities will have their zoning laws change.

It is unclear how the bill is expected to impact current homeowners and property values. Republican state Sen. Hans Zeiger raised concerns about the bill in a hearing suggesting this decision should be left to local officials. 

The bill is currently being considered by Washington lawmakers. The bill could be a variation of the original form, a substitute version or an engrossed version.

Lawmakers have until the end of the early 2020 legislative session to make a decision. 

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