Written by Sarah Anne Lloyd
Photo of the Alps via Coho Real Estate
The Seattle City Council land-use committee meeting added a whole bevy of amendments to a proposed bill to rein in microhousing developers (like aPodments) Monday night — adding more elements to an already heated city debate. Specifically, the committee approved amendments to Council Bill 118067 that would require covered bike parking in addition to car parking, which is already required in many areas; mandate two sinks per living unit; and expand common areas of the developments. One of the more notable amendments raises the minimum unit size from 180 square feet to 220. The final product goes to a City Council vote October 6; Mayor Ed Murray is considering a veto.
While it's specifically the shared kitchens that have put aPodments developments outside of certain key elements of Seattle's building code — and right at the center of civic debate — the uproar over new microhousing developments has opened a larger, heated conversation, not just on neighborhood density and character, but small living spaces in general. How tiny should someone be allowed to live?
As many already know, the city is already home to many units about the same size as new micro-housing units — some even smaller. We've mapped six rental units at 250 square feet and below that have been in this city for decades before the micro-housing boom. (Shared amenities, by the way, are nothing new, either — The Manchester Arms is one example of a century-old building that still rents efficiency units with shared bathrooms.)
· Micro Housing: What & Why [Seattle DPD]
· Council Bill 118067 [Seattle City Council]
· Murray Will Consider Veto of Council's Push to Drive Up Cost of Affordable Apartments [The Stranger]
· 6 Charts That Show Seattle Needs More Micro-Apartments [CS]
· Micro-Housing Archive [CS]