Few things elicit a strong opinion in Seattle quite like a new neighborhood development or construction project. And however strong the local opinion is on an office building or mixed-use project, news of an impending microhousing or aPodment complex triples it. After reading yet another heated review of a public meeting to discuss the dwellings, a pattern has clearly emerged. A pattern of people against aPodments saying wackadoodle things in order to make their points. Despite the face that rent is becoming untenable for many of Seattle's young students & professionals, some are standing their ground against the affordable housing option...and they'll trot out a whole bunch of loopy logic about it.
Here's our favorites...
1. "How many of you are native Seattleites?...Born here. Not some hat-wearing rabbi from New York."
That was Gary Friedman of the Roosevelt Neighbors Alliance, whom SeattleMet points out is himself a Jewish chaplain, but, uh, um....yeah... Before we even get to the uncomfortable reference, we didn't realize you had to qualify your Seattle-ness before moving in these days.
2. "We challenge anyone to live in such a confined space and remain sane for any reasonable length of time."
That's from John Fox, founder of the Seattle Displacement Coalition, quoted in an article that also includes quotes from three different people who seem to be doing just that.
3. "Let's talk about the rape of those little houses."
Via an unknown woman at a Seattle's Department of Planning and Development meeting to discuss low-rise multi-famility building zoning. There's a legitimate complaint in there somewhere, that's just a very non-legitimate way to go about it...
4. [Microhousing buildings are] "college dormitories that are being placed in our residential area...These are not being built for people who are looking for long-term housing...They're not family-friendly and they're not compatible with our neighborhood."
Gary Friedman again. Most accounts say aPodments are home to mostly young professionals who want long-term housing but don't want to pay exorbitant amount for it and are average, hard-working people just like everyone else, but, besides that, sure....
5. ...dangers include "public health, fire, and explosion risk" because each living area only has one sink."
From an appeal filed by the Eastlake Community Council. The "exploding sink canard" seems to be a particularly strong concern troll.
6. "...One woman testified that aPodments would quickly be overrun by mold, "meth addicts," "wild parties," people with "mental illness," and men who will terrorize "our daughters." [Kitchens & microwaves won't "even be big enough for a Hungry Man dinner."
Does any account better sum up the insane idea that some have in their heads of who lives in aPodments? Also, that's really sweet to be so concerned about whether or not tenant TV dinners will be possible.
7. "Anyone who can scrape up enough money to live month-to-month can live there...I don't think most people want to live next to a boarding house with itinerant people living in it."
Capitol Hill resident Alan Gossett. There's so much data out there to refute that, it's silly.
8. "A certain percentage of roommates have mental problems," Danilchik alleged, adding that shared housing could be risky for those living on the same floor as a meth addict. "They never stop tweaking. They don't sleep. Right now, I know of a rooming house where there are fights over the shared kitchen." And in another such building, which she didn't identify, "guys sleep with a knife under their pillow to stab the other guy."
Kristina Danilchik at a city council hearing. The lesson is, do NOT hang out with Kristina Danilchik's friends.
9. "If people are hungry, OK, they'll eat dog food, OK. That's not the question."
Community activist Bill Bradburd, who has that market cornered, apparently.
10. "These are like boarding houses on steroids...I'm living the nightmare."
Carl Winter, founder of Reasonable Density Seattle. If you take nothing else away from the aPodment argument, just remember that this is the hellish nightmare-scape promised in Revelations.
· All aPodments coverage [Curbed Seattle]