Forum on Microhousing

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Tomorrow, Thursday, April 18, the Transportation Committee of the City Council will host a forum on microhousing.

transportation20130418_1a.pdf - Adobe Reader

Comparison of a 128 sqft parking space, a 150 sqft microunit, and a 180 sqft basketball court lane

Don’t know what micro-housing is?  Here is an except (full content at link below) from a Council Central Staff briefing document:

“Microhousing projects are generally comprised of apartment or townhome-style dwelling units, each of which contains several (often seven or eight) sleeping rooms clustered around a shared kitchen and laundry area. The sleeping rooms are typically 150 to 200 square feet in size and equipped with a kitchenette (refrigerator, microwave, sink) and private bathroom. Each sleeping room is leased to an individual tenant and rent levels, while subject to variation by location, are often in the range of $600 to $700 per month…Tenants include, but are not limited to, students, service industry workers, and individuals who divide their time between Seattle and a residence in another location. Since 2006, DPD has received permit applications for 48 microhousing projects. Once all those projects are complete, it is estimated they will yield residential capacity for more than 2,300 people. Eighteen (38%) of the projects are located on Capitol Hill, 12 (25%) are in the University District, and the remainder are spread throughout the city.”

The event will be an opportunity for public comment as well as hearing presentations from the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the Office of Housing (OH), and Council Central Staff.

It will be held in City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of Seattle City Hall.  The agenda and supporting documents can be found here.  If you can’t attend, but want to watch, the live streaming video is found here and the archived video will be located here.  Because not everyone can attend daytime meetings, within the next few weeks, Councilmember Rasmussen and I plan to host another evening public forum on microhousing development. Details about this event will be available as soon as it is scheduled.

Keep in touch…


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Comment from Stephen
Time April 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm

This is the worst example of government looking for a non-problem to solve. People work in Seattle and they have to live somewhere. Do you want them commuting from sprawl housing? Your conclusion in your piece about dramatically altering the process for permitting is nonsense. Are you going to decide what is an appropriate size space for someone to live in?

Gross overreach

Comment from Ben Twight
Time April 22, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Well Nick…. We can stack houses upon houses, or we can put them in our parks…..but there has to be a better way, but that better way is not to put towers down to the Lake Edges. I have always admired the view from the faculty club at UBC looking up the bay towards Whistler…. The Canadians kept the tall buildings in the view way back from the waters’ edge, just like framing a tasteful painting.


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