The wrapping flag lots of a townhouse stick that are not permitted to access 28th Ave.

During last week’s discussion of subdivisions and the problem of slicing the city into tiny parcels, we asked for your help to find the strangest lot lines and parcels in Seattle and around Puget Sound.

Some of you have a deep affinity for the non-linear parcel. Goodness, you found some weird ones. Excellent work.

We’ll start with the purely strange lot lines as we work our way toward our grand champion. Probably a way to squeeze a few extra feet of buildable lot out of a larger lot or dividing one property for uniquely shaped buildings, these are lots that are bizarre without any help from outside forces.

Jagged lots shaped like a lightning bolt icon on 32nd Ave NE and NE 68th St.
Electric Lot Wiggles submitted by Andy Siegel
43rd Ave S has a very strange lot abutting it that's sort of shaped like a figure 8.
Figure 8ish submitted by Daniel Schirmer
The West End of Tacoma west of Kandle Park includes some strange lots. Almost toothy in design with curvy streets.
The Tooth Fairy neighborhood submitted by Marissa Milam
Olympic Dr NW includes some very crooked lots.
Olympic Hammerhead submitted by Bryan Quandt
If you tried to cut a square pizza like a circle pizza but used dull scissors to do it, you'd end up with these 8 lots meeting in the middle on Oswego Pl NE.
Meet In The Middle submitted by Eric Aderhold
Some very strange lots going on in the block between Renton Ave S and S Cooper St.
Inland Gnome submitted by Kelsey Timmer
Tangletown lots tend to be weird but this one takes the came with a strange little antenna shape protruding from a small lot.
The Headless Android of Tangletown submitted by Eric Aderhold

Special mention has to go out to Crop Circles. These are enclaves in formerly rural areas where houses are in the circles and the rest of the property is shared. Usually by horses.

Sammamish Crop Circles I submitted by Tarn Ohana.
Sammamish Crop Circles II submitted by Tarn Ohana
Crop Circles in Juanita submitted by Marissa Milam

There are a number of strange lots and parcels created by the hills and roads of the region. In some places, limited access to a highway like I-5 or the wide swath of overhead power lines force lots to put driveways onto other sides of the block.

NE 157th Ln squiggles to climb the hill to Bothell Way NE creating some triangular lots.
Lombard Hernia by Andy Siegel
Some big weird lots north of S Massachusetts St.
Xeno’s Parcel submitted by Kelsey Timmer
The Buttonhole submitted by Eric Aderhold.
Upland Terrace is a curvy streets with lots cut in seemingly every direction.
Wholly Appropriate Upland Curl submitted by Kelsey Timmer
Cut Off submitted by Bryan Quandt
Nested 7’s submitted by Daniel Schirmer
Land Meander submitted by Bryan Quandt
No Exit (for your driveway) submitted by Eric Aderhold

Of course, when we look at the property ownership under a highway intersection, the lot divisions are just as strange as the lots around them.

Marginally Errant submitted by John Renehan
Permanent Plat submitted by John Renehan

And then there are the waterways. Lakes get long lots around their edges so folks don’t fight over which way their piers go. Streams get split across lots, and the protected trees around them get handed to private properties for maintenance and preservation.

Thornton Cut by Tracy Patton
The Phantom Lots of Phantom Lake submitted by Steve Everist
Offshored submitted by Bryan Quandt
Leaf on the Lake submitted by Andy Siegel
Fauntleroy Zig Zag Driveway submitted by Marissa Milam

We have also platted out expansion of the city into the water, should we ever decide to wash away more hills.

The Sunken City of West Magnolia submitted by Eric Aderhold

And in that vein, the lots that are “left behind” tend to be good and weird. The flip side of those long lots with streams running along the back, these lots are created where a development squeezes the undevelopable parts into a couple of chunks that can be held by a homeowners association (HOA) or golf club.

But for this competition, we have a clear winner. Looking like an election population map, this property was set aside to hold all of the steep slopes and stream bed for a feeder to Issaquah Creek while the properties around it were developed. Now owned by the City of Issaquah as a private open space tract, it is a uniquely bizarre parcel.

The strangest puzzle piece you ever saw.
Misshapen USA near East Lake Sammamish submitted by Marissa Milam.

Bonus, according to the recorded plat, the sensitive area designation is imposed on all future owners “on behalf of the pubic by King County.” Sensitive area indeed, and a good illustration of why the first comment you always give when reviewing a plat is “Carefully spell check plat notes.”

Plat Note for sensitive areas in Issaquah misspells public as “pubic.”

Thank you to everyone who sent along your bizarre parcels, we appreciate your attention to detail and strange property lines. Congratulations Marissa. Your gift card is in the mail.

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Ray Dubicki is a stay-at-home dad and parent-on-call for taking care of general school and neighborhood tasks around Ballard. This lets him see how urbanism works (or doesn’t) during the hours most people are locked in their office. He is an attorney and urbanist by training, with soup-to-nuts planning experience from code enforcement to university development to writing zoning ordinances. He enjoys using PowerPoint, but only because it’s no longer a weekly obligation.