Zoning: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

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  • This topic has 15 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by AJP.
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  • #934181

    alanseawa
    Participant

    I wonder why we do not have a forum on Zoning? Lacking that, I am posting this Topic under Open Discussion. I urge West Seattle residential owners to speak-out against proposed new zoning that would promote the expansion of Attached and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (AADUs and DADAs). The final Environmental Impact Statement was produced in support on Oct 4. The projected benefit to affordable housing of about 2,500 additional very small units over 10 years pales in comparison to the downside risks to health and safety and probable unintended consequences such as very high ADU rents on a square foot basis and non-resident de facto slum-lords. There is opposition in Queen Anne which West Seattle should join. I have expressed my concerns to Lisa Herbold, urging her to oppose the zoning but have not received a definitive response. See
    http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/Council/MAIN_ADU_FEIS_2018.pdf

    #934281

    heartless
    Participant

    Actually I’m all for expanding backyard cottages! They are fantastic and many forward-thinking cities in the PNW are embracing them. We should join them!

    Just a few reasons why it’s so important we move forward on letting people build these units:
    1) You own your own property! Want to build a small cottage to rent out? You should be able to do that!

    2) If you read the WSB at all regularly you know how many homeowners need a break–being able to rent out a backyard cottage is a great way to make ends meet while continuing to stay in your home.

    3) It’s a wonderful way to increase density while not having thick corridors of 5 story condos/apartments everywhere.

    4) They are fantastic for extended families. Have older parents or even grandparents who don’t need much space but want to be near to family? A backyard cottage is a wonderful idea.

    I’ve not heard a single good argument against letting these much needed changes go through–including the “arguments” you included, Alan. (Health and safety concerns? Really? And what, pray tell, might those be? And you actually make the argument that we shouldn’t have these additional rental units because the rent would be too high? Really?! If that’s not single most backward argument I’ve heard all week…)

    I fully and enthusiastically support the changes–and I encourage everyone else to do the same–and let Lisa Herbold and others know you support the new zoning–it is prime time to make this sensible change in our backwards laws.

    #934306

    hightide
    Participant

    alanseawa, thanks for bringing this up. I can’t agree more that increasing density and availability of alternative housing solutions should be priorities for zoning considerations. I’ll share my support of ADUs with Lisa Herbold on Monday.

    #934329

    pagefive
    Participant

    We converted our delapidated carport into a lovely backyard cottage last year and are renting it below market value to a single person who could otherwise not afford to live in the city. Permitting was a lengthy and laborious process, and I sure wish the city would cut us a break on property taxes since we are doing our small part to add to the affordable housing inventory. I obviously disagree with allenseawa’s argument -vague as it is – which does not align with my own experience as a DADU owner in Seattle.

    #934344

    hightide
    Participant

    Well done, pagefive. You’re making a meaningful difference in someone’s life.

    #934357

    littlebrowndog
    Participant

    I can see many benefits to ADUs. Most are barely smaller than or even the same size as the small house I’ve lived in with my husband and dogs for 3 decades. There’s a lot to be said for minimalist living. We have proven that a house of that size works for 2, not just 1, people, so an ADU could be suitable for a couple or a single parent as well as a single person. Our property, should we ever decide to do an ADU, has a fully fenced dog compatible yard so also a benefit to renters. Having done parental caregiving, crossing the yard to get to my parent(s) would have been much easier than driving 30 miles with all the associated costs and impact on our traffic woes. Rental income, or reduced expenses caring for older family members, is a plus. And doing my share to increase the availability of affordable housing is a responsible thing to do. Oh, and for the life of me I cannot think of any health and safety issues, so I would love to hear more about that.

    #934443

    alanseawa
    Participant

    Thanks to all who responded to my original posting on this Topic. Just to be clear, the contention I raised is not against allowing one ADU that obeys health and safety codes. The contention is against the City Council’s proposed ordinance that would allow two ADUs, attached and/or detached. Exacerbating the potentially adverse impact to the local area health and safety of ADUs’ occupants and neighbors are the lack of an on-site parking requirement and the lack of an on-site resident-owner requirement. By the study’s own estimate, the ten-year benefit to affordable housing units is very low, so I do not think the risk-benefit supports allowing a second ADU.

    #934450

    Ponderosa
    Participant

    Alanseawa-

    I absolutely think that these proposed changes to the ADU zoning and laws are acceptable and I too will voice my support to the city council, yet again, despite a few homeowners plans in Queen Anne to continuously derail this process. Removal of the on-site resident-owner requirement and on-site parking restrictions are acceptable if not welcome. A risk of not liking new neighbors or owners or having to share public parking on the street should hardly be considered a risk, and possibly a benefit. I’m happy Seattle is pushing forward with being a more welcoming city with more flexible housing options, and not putting personal car storage as a main priority in the development of housing.

    #934456

    zark00
    Participant

    OP is 100% wrong, propagating lies about ADUs that the Queen Anne Council have invented/disseminated. ADUs do not create defacto local slum lords – this has proven to be a ploy used by NIMBY proponents to try to talk folks out of supporting ADUs – in fact, in Portland, largely considered to be the leader in ADU development, there have been a grand total of ZERO complaints be neighborhood groups about ‘defacto slum lords’. Also, Portland, the LEADER in ADU developement, has 800 ADUs, out of 148,000 properties that could have them. You are completely lying to keep people out – you got in and want to p[ull up the ramp – are you also anti immigration because it sure sounds like something you’d support too. this is 100% made up by NIMBY’s like Alan here and the QA Council – they simply don’t want poor people to be able to afford to live in their neighborhood. ADUs are about twice the size on average of the current crop of apodments – so another lie. I also urged Herbold to support the ADU changes, and happily she got right back to me and said yes, that is the plan. So hopefully you’ve already lost your stupid stupid battle.

    #934457

    alanseawa
    Participant

    Sadly, zarkOO’s comments are like those of an ignorant hater who needs to polarize a discourse with false assumptions and attributions that help demonize another viewpoint. Examples exist in every sentence. His reply would serve as a great example for high school students to discuss in a civics course, regardless of whether allowing two ADUs is a good idea or not.

    #934468

    heartless
    Participant

    No. What is sad is you and your stilted verbiage and baffling claims.

    That you raise phantom complaints is sad. That you then shy away from an actual discussion when people SPECIFICALLY ask you about those complaints–that is sad.

    Your disgraceful approach to–nay, not even an approach to–your disgraceful flight from discussion is what serves as an example of horrible behavior.

    You seem nothing more than a troll. Your intention is not to debate merits or flaws, but merely to annoy and pester… And then when someone finally calls you on it, oh, hey, you get to turn around and waggle your finger and shake your head and say, tsk tsk, how uncivil people are.

    You don’t fool me.

    #934469

    zark00
    Participant

    Ahhh the classic attack the arguer not the argument. Ad hominem debate fallacy. You have no argument so you do the only desperate thing you can, personally attack the person who has defeated your argument to avoid the actual argument. Yes, this would be a great example for any student wanting to understand how logical fallacies and obfuscation of the central tenet being discussed are effective tactics when one has no factual ground to stand on. You clearly simply took everything the Queen Anne council told you as gospel truth with zero effort on your own part to actually understand the issues or make an informed decision. Try harder. You failed miserably in this adventure. Next time put in just the tiniest bit of effort. Your willful ignorance isn’t helping you or anyone else. Why don’t you start here – https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/adu.pdf – that’s from the US Dept of Housing and Urban Development and refutes every single thing thing you claim. Here’s a quote to get you started “There were no significant negative issues that
    arose from liberalizing Portland’s code.” Ouch – that’s gotta sting.

    #934470

    zark00
    Participant

    Yes Heartless – totally agree – you got his number for sure. He may in fact BE a troll for the QA council :)

    #934606

    skeeter
    Participant

    I am pretty much in favor of anything that increases density. The only way housing will be affordable is if we allow individuals and developers to build more housing units.

    #934778

    22blades
    Participant

    “The only way housing will be affordable is if we allow individuals and developers to build more housing units.”

    I disagree with that assessment. I have lived here since the early 70’s and have seen the cycles come and go, time after time. Every cycle brings a flurry of building activity only to result in over building. Vacancy is plateauing if not rising in the Seattle core area. The “mixed use” model is yielding an abundancy of vacant storefronts. On top of that, long time businesses are being forced out.

    The idea that “build it & they will come” seems to be a fallacy that only developers and construction companies buy into. They have cashed their checks and are long gone. There is no shortage of housing. Period. There is a shortage of landlords that can offer a sustainable business plan with reasonable rents. They bought high in a panic & greed, and as they say, they are trying when the selling is low. The economic forecast is flat at best for the next year.

    Sure, I’d like an ADU but I won’t cloak it as a benevolent way to help the housing crisis. Market greed and a lack livable wages & benefits will contribute more to homelessness and stressful rents.

    #934955

    AJP
    Participant

    Aha! There it is. Took a second comment to get there, but what are people actually objecting to when against ADU/DADUs? Parking. It’s always parking. The god-given right to park a car on the street near your house. Nothing else is more sacred.

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