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City Council Land-Use Committee Proposes More Microhousing Restrictions, But Many Are Already Living Small

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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]

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1. Westview Apartments

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2529 14th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144

Beacon Hill's Westview Apartment Homes, built in 1918, include studios as small as 192 square feet, although it's unclear if which amenities are lost due to the teeny-tiny size. Larger units in the building include 770 foot 2 bedroom units.

2. Beacon View Apartments

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1701 12th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98144

Beacon View's studios are just 242 square feet, which is atypical for apartments built in 1969.

3. The Rivoli

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2127 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA

The Rivoli, built in 1911, includes many unique floorplans, and the studios are often itty-bitty. Many even come with twin-size trundle beds.

4. Alps Apartments

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621 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104

Studio apartments in the Alps, originally built as the Alps Hotel in 1910, run as small as 150 square feet.

5. Milwaukee Hotel Apartments

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668 South King Street
Seattle, WA 98104

Built by Chinese Consul Goon Dip in 1911, The Milwaukee Hotel remains an International District community hub. Studios in the building run anywhere from 175 to 280 square feet.

6. Ivy Ridge Apartments

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4730 21st Avenue Northeast
Seattle, WA 98105

Studios in the U-District's Ivy Ridge Apartments are an adorable 250 square feet.

1. Westview Apartments

2529 14th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144

Beacon Hill's Westview Apartment Homes, built in 1918, include studios as small as 192 square feet, although it's unclear if which amenities are lost due to the teeny-tiny size. Larger units in the building include 770 foot 2 bedroom units.

2529 14th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144

2. Beacon View Apartments

1701 12th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144

Beacon View's studios are just 242 square feet, which is atypical for apartments built in 1969.

1701 12th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98144

3. The Rivoli

2127 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

The Rivoli, built in 1911, includes many unique floorplans, and the studios are often itty-bitty. Many even come with twin-size trundle beds.

2127 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA

4. Alps Apartments

621 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

Studio apartments in the Alps, originally built as the Alps Hotel in 1910, run as small as 150 square feet.

621 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104

5. Milwaukee Hotel Apartments

668 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104

Built by Chinese Consul Goon Dip in 1911, The Milwaukee Hotel remains an International District community hub. Studios in the building run anywhere from 175 to 280 square feet.

668 South King Street
Seattle, WA 98104

6. Ivy Ridge Apartments

4730 21st Avenue Northeast, Seattle, WA 98105

Studios in the U-District's Ivy Ridge Apartments are an adorable 250 square feet.

4730 21st Avenue Northeast
Seattle, WA 98105