The proposed city rules about microhousing are officially on their way to the City Council. From the council’s Introduction and Referral Calendar for next week, see the council bill here. Among other things, it sets the threshold for Design Review, by “dwelling unit” (which usually equals one floor with a common kitchen and multiple “sleeping rooms”) – four in a Neighborhood Commercial zone, eight in a Low Rise zone. It includes the definition of a “micro”:
“Micro” means a room or rooms located within a micro-housing unit that includes a sleeping room and has all of the following characteristics:
a. contains 285 square feet or less of net floor area, including abutting ancillary areas such as a private bathroom, closets or a sleeping loft;
b. contains a bathroom with a toilet, bathing facility, and sink;
c. does not contain a food preparation area or kitchen; and
d. no toilet, bathing facility or sink is located outside of the bathroom.
It also spells out “a microhousing unit is not a single-family dwelling unit and is not a permitted use in single-family zones.” Regarding parking, while one space would be required for every four sleeping rooms in some areas, the proposal does not change the current standard of no parking required if “frequent transit” is no more than a quarter-mile away. The proposed rules have been in the works for months; they will go first to the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee.
SIDE NOTE: West Seattle has one microhousing project that recently opened, another almost complete, and at least three others in the works, as shown on the development-tracking map we finished and published earlier this week.