In May, CHS reported on the effort inspired by Capitol Hill pushback to overhaul the city’s regulations around microhousing to close loopholes allowing developers to escape the design and environmental review process most standard apartment buildings are subject to. Monday is one of many deadlines in the process as proposed microhousing legislation — that includes potential design review for the projects as well as a host of other changes and limitations like restriction from single family zones — undergoes a State Environmental Policy Act review. DPD’s call for feedback and comment on its plan is below.
While many have called for increased regulation, developers and others have pointed at the neighborhood and greater Seattle’s need for more affordable housing as a primary driver for taking a more laissez faire approach to the industry.
According to the DPD director’s report on the legislation, the new rule set includes these 10 “actions.” The entire report and information on providing feedback on the proposed legislation is below.
1. Define “micro-housing” and “micro” under Residential Use within the Land Use Code.
2. Prohibit micro-housing developments in single-family zones.
3. Apply a design review threshold for micro-housing and congregate residences by the size of the building (not number of dwelling units).
4. Update development standards for micro-housing and congregate residences to add a minimum size requirement for shared kitchens and common areas.
5. Limit kitchen components in individual micros and sleeping rooms to differentiate from dwelling units.
6. Update development standards to ensure appropriate size of refuse collection areas in micro- housing and congregate residence developments.
7. Update development standards for quantity of required vehicle and bicycle parking in micro- housing and congregate residence developments.
8. Clarify eligibility for Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) passes for occupants of micro-housing and congregate residences.
9. Account for micro-housing and congregate residence sleeping rooms in progress towards residential growth targets.
10. Deepen the required affordability levels for participation in incentive zoning for affordable housing for projects with micro-housing or congregate residences, and for very small studio apartments.
You’re invited to add your comments on the proposed legislation in this first round of review:
We welcome your comments on our proposed micro-housing legislation. Read the new regulations on our project documents page and then e-mail your feedback or ideas, by October 21, to email@example.com
or geoffrey.wentlandt@seattle. gov.
State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Review Draft
On October 7, 2013 we released proposed new rules for micro-housing and congregate residences along with a Director’s Report. We also published notice of a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) on the proposed rules, as a part of the required State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. The SEPA comment period runs from October 7 through October 21 of 2013.
Staff Draft – Micro-Housing Preliminary Recommendations
Our preliminary recommendations for code changes to address the permitting and design of micro-housing is discussed in the memo below. We’ve drafted our preliminary recommendations based on input from elected officials, residents, and property owners.