Capitol Hill microhousing haters, you have a possible friend in City Hall. Publicola reports that City Council member Tom Rasmussen is kicking the tires on a proposed moratorium to halt the proliferation of boarding-house style apartment buildings that circumvent the city’s environmental and design review laws:
Rasmussen—who visited one such development on Capitol Hill and compares its units to “small dorm rooms”—tells PubliCola he understands the “market for smaller units like that,” but says that Capitol Hill residents, in particular, have expressed concern about the new developments, and are “feeling like too many are being proposed or developed” and want the council to take a look at “whether they fit in to neighborhoods, and whether or not there should be design review. Some of them look pretty good, some of them not so much.”
Publicola adds that Rasmussen continues to feel the situation out and hasn’t yet formally introduced the proposal.
In December, CHS reported that city officials were again coming to Capitol Hill to discuss microhousing developments — one of a handful of banes of existence for groups seeking to slow development like the Capitol Hill Coalition and Reasonable Density Seattle — even as yet another project began in the neighborhood. CHS documented the loopholes that makes the projects possible, mapped the projects underway around the Hill and taken you inside the small studios. To date, the City of Seattle has recorded applications for more than 40 microhousing projects in the city — 15 of them on Capitol Hill or very near its edges.
We’ve introduced you to the community groups pushing back — and the developers who are pushing the trend forward. The Capitol Hill Community Council has come out in support of a moratorium until review requirements are strengthened. Previously, chair of the land use committee Richard Conlin has said the City Council wasn’t ready to take action to halt the developments while more stringent review processes were put in place.