The proposal passed 3-1, with County Councilman Dave Somers opposed. All members of the council, Somers included, said the changes represented an improvement over existing land-use rules.
The issue generated strong opposition from the Snohomish County Farm Bureau and some other property-rights advocates, who submitted a petition. Their stance frustrated County Council members and county planners who insisted the changes would give people more freedom, not less, to develop their land.
The ordinance will take effect 10 days after the county executive signs it.
Currently, single-family residential houses are the only allowed use on land that don't meet minimum zoning dimensions. The changes would allow people in certain areas to use their land for greenhouses, day cares, kennels or other home-based businesses. An amendment to add duplexes to the list of allowed uses failed.
The changes also seek to close loopholes that allow landowners to cobble together land parcels, using boundary-line adjustments, for development.
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