New ‘microhousing’ rules? City Council sets 2nd public discussion

After a daytime discussion last month, City Councilmembers have announced a nighttime meeting about “microhousing.” The trend is most prevalent on Capitol Hill and in the U-District, but as we’ve reported, several are under construction and on the drawing board here in West Seattle. One of the most commonly voiced concerns, as has been the case in WSB comments: The impact of developing such buildings without on-site parking. The meeting is set for 6 pm next Monday, May 6th, at Seattle First Baptist Church (1111 Harvard Avenue); the announcement describes its focus:

The purpose of the second meeting is to hear from neighborhood representatives who will give their views and recommendations on the micro-housing projects. Representatives of the developers who build micro-housing projects will be present to describe the projects and the market for this housing alternative and their response to concerns they are hearing from the community. …

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen stated: “A portion of the meeting will include an opportunity for the public to provide comments on what they have heard during the meeting and to provide recommendations on what, if any, regulations should be enacted for this unique type of housing.”

Many “microhousing” projects cluster multiple small living units around a common kitchen/laundry area, which the Department of Planning and Development has then counted as a single living unit, and the changes under discussion include ending that practice. In West Seattle, there is at least one such project, according to the citywide report on developments approved last year for the Multifamily Tax Exemption last year – “Avalon Studios,” with 56 studios (no address listed, so we haven’t yet found which of the Avalon Way “boarding house” projects it is).

2 Replies to "New 'microhousing' rules? City Council sets 2nd public discussion"

  • cj May 1, 2013 (9:30 pm)

    The practice of shared kitchen and bathrooms is dangerous and if you care about people and their safety should not carry on into the future. When I was new to Seattle and looking for an apartment I was appalled at some of the people living in conditions we typically point fingers at in 3rd world countries. We should not support slum lord attitudes where property owners take advantage of people.

  • WsEd May 2, 2013 (3:00 pm)

    This is just a case of developers pushing the system as hard and fast as they can to make a buck. Upgrade the codes to prevent this or move it to Magnolia and Madison park for once.

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