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Microhousing Resolution

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Capitol Hill Community Council Resolution on Microhousing

Whereas, in 1993, the City and the Neighborhoods jointly created a Design Review Process and Design Guidelines to ensure that new construction fit into the existing neighborhood context;

Whereas, the Neighborhoods agreed to increased growth with the understanding that neighborhood context would be protected, and that Neighborhoods would be able to meaningfully participate in the planning and development of their Neighborhoods;

Whereas, many years ago, the State of Washington and the City of Seattle enacted environmental protection laws and regulations that required the review of new construction for a range of environmental impacts;

Whereas, the City has repeatedly granted exemptions and raised thresholds for the application of Design and SEPA Review, such that an increasing number of buildings are being constructed with undefined environmental impacts, and in a style which clearly violates the existing neighborhood context;

Whereas, the City has set growth targets under the Growth Management Act, which are to be used to guide future development;

Whereas, the Capitol Hill Neighborhood has seen new construction that will result in the neighborhood exceeding the previously established growth and density targets: As of July 2012, Capitol Hill has met 92% of its growth target for 2004-2024, and when additional 380 permitted units are built, it will meet 130% of its growth target for the same period;

Whereas, a new type of construction referred to as apodments or microhousing, concentrated in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood, has proceeded under ordinary construction permitting procedures, exempt from Design Review, SEPA Review and Design Guidelines, and resulting in an increased density not previously established in Seattle's Land Use Code;

Whereas, the pace and nature of development of apodments in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood, as well as other neighborhoods around the City, deeply concerns the neighborhood, for the reasons stated above;

Whereas, the development of apodments has been enabled by a DPD interpretation, Director's Rule 7-83, of the meaning of the phrase "dwelling unit", and under which eight separate living units have been classified as a single “dwelling unit”, thereby lowering the unit count for the proposed building;

Be it resolved by the Capitol Hill Community Council:

We ask that the Seattle City Council, using its authority to establish interim measures under the Washington State Constitution Article 11, Section 11 and the Growth Management Act, Chapter 36.70A, to declare that an emergency exists, and to declare a moratorium on the approval and construction of any more apodments or microhousing in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood, or anywhere else in the City, until such time as the City Council can further clarify the meaning of "dwelling unit", and stop its application to the development of apodments, a type of construction it was never meant to address, to make the development of apodments subject to Design and SEPA Reviews, and to pass an ordinance to ensure that all multifamily buildings that contain the same or similar unit count are subject to the same set of development standards and design guidelines.


Reasonable Density Seattle

  • Betty Bigelow
    Betty Bigelow United States, Seattle
    Jul 18, 2015
    Jul 18, 2015
    None of this new housing is affordable to anyone who is not bringing down nearly 6 figures a year, based on the price of the units as an indication of income. Stop lying about what all this out of control growth really means.
  • Anonymous
    Jun 17, 2015
    Jun 17, 2015
    The city continues to increase density without providing reasonable transportation alternatives besides cars and buses, contributing to the already terrible gridlock.
  • Kathleen Kerkof
    Kathleen Kerkof United States, Seattle
    Jun 02, 2015
    Jun 02, 2015
    These microhousing units are being presented as affordable housing but the per sq.ft.rate is very high and if they can ask to $1,000 for 200 sq. ft. you can be sure that other landlords are going to be raising their rents accordingly for their more normal sized apartments. thus making livign in Seattle less and less affordable for people of low and moderate means. The recent opening of a 57 unit apartment building in Bellevue charging $400 rent for low income workers is something that Seattle should look into. If you make $10 per hour and work 40 hours per week and thus $1600 per month before taxes, Medicare and social Security are taken out, it is clear that $1,000 a month rent is not a low income housing solution..
  • carie skylar gaia
    carie skylar gaia United States, Seattle
    Feb 28, 2015
    Feb 28, 2015
    Where were the voices of current residents when the rules changed and builders were allowed to come in and put up whatever they want, without replacing trees, or any other greenery. It's a crime what's happening.
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  • 2 weeks ago
    Betty Bigelow United States
    2 weeks ago
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    Julie Morse United States
    4 weeks ago
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    Hillary Namba
    1 month ago
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    Elisa Haradon
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    Kathleen Kerkof United States
    2 months ago
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    Will Silva United States
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    carie skylar gaia
    5 months ago
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    Allene Niehaus
    9 months ago
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