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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
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.
Promoters paint a picture of young techies and hipsters embracing a new-age apodment lifestyle.
Within ten years, these micro-units will become dumping grounds for veterans and the elderly - isolating warehouses under the guise of "independant living" for agencies that want to cut costs for support services.
How long will the techies stay when Veteran's Affairs and DHS starts giving housing vouchers (so affordable!) to clients while they cut back on treatment and services?
Sitting alone and hungry in a 10x16 foot room or squeezing your family into 250 sq ft is a poor definition of independance.
I favor transitional housing for homeless families and subsidized senior / veteran's communities with viable independant living options.
Apodments are not a sustainable housing solution. They are an admission of our failure to support living wages and mobility from struggling in poverty workers to middle class families.
Our city council members need to incorporate the views of the community first, over that of developers!
The city of Seattle has not adequately provided the infrastructure necessary to accomodate continued, aggressive high-density housing growth.
Joel Shepard4 days ago
Sarah Oyer6 days ago
robyn meyer2 weeks ago
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