Design Review: Stealing From the Future

Cassandra and Friend

As I have already pointed out, the Department of Planning and Development has proposed design review for new microhousing projects as a way to assuage anger and fear of a band of neighbors opposed to the product.  But why, in a city where it is liturgical for politicians to state their commitment to ‘affordable housing,’ […]

Council’s Response to Innovation:Raise the Rents on Microhousing?

More Rules

The latest chapter of the Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) efforts to limit innovative housing solutions in response to angry neighbors is being drafted and will be presented at Friday’s meeting of the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee. After a lengthy appeal the legislation is back and will be considered by the […]

Hard to Find the ‘Incentive’ in Incentive Zoning

NAIOP IZ Post

  This post originally appeared in the Spring edition of The Voice, NAIOP’s semi-annual government affairs newsletter.    Recently, the City of Seattle has placed an emphasis on what it calls incentive zoning, a program that charges a fee in exchange for granting additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for new housing and non-residential development. This […]

Corn Dogs, Housing, and Innovation

corn dogs City Market

I was asked to write an opinion piece for Publicola yesterday comparing the reaction the Seattle City Council had to ride sharing programs to the reaction they are contemplating to small-lot housing. The truth is I already did that in a post not too long ago. To me, the comparison is obvious. Small-lot housing is […]

Small Lot Hearing This Friday

We’ve been hearing  about the problems with small-lot legislation being considered by the City Council. Here’s what David Neiman a local architect says about the problems created by the legislation because of it’s efforts to placate a small group of angry neighbors:  These defects are known to the planners at DPD.  They understand them and fully appreciate […]

Take My House? Please Don’t.

Downzoned Dreams

More and more single-family homeowners are beginning to feel the unintended impacts of the Department of Planning and Developments misguided efforts to satisfy angry neighbors. Here’s another example from the Facebook feed. Take my house, for example. Here’s an architect’s sketch of my house with the simplest, most cost-effective addition. Too tall for our 2,520 sf lot, […]

Downzoning Your Dreams

Thurbanist Diagram

The evidence continues to build that small-lot legislation offered by the Department of Planning and Development makes things worse for everyone involved, including owners of existing single-family homeowners. Matt Gangemi writing at The Urbanist calls the legislation Seattle’s Largest Downzone. If you live on a lot less than a 3,200 square feet in size, the maximum […]

Ideas for Change: Seattle’s Housing Future

The Future

The debate and discussion over housing can sometimes take an ugly turn, especially when facing opponents of small-lot housing, microhousing, and people that want jobs and housing to go somewhere else. There are days when all we do is defense, batting away the lastest half-truth about supply and demand, or arguing why we should be […]

Orientation: The Construction Codes Advisory Board

Meeting of the Construction Codes Advisory Board

The Construction Codes Advisory Board (CCAB) is probably one of the most important City Boards that you’ve never heard of. The CCAB is the body that reviews additions and changes to the City’s building code. This matters a lot for builders, architects, engineers, and everyone in the building trades who actually have their hands dirty […]

One House, One Diagram [UPDATED]

One House

Breaking News: The black box has been found and we’ve discovered a link to the diagram. You can see it here. Evidently, sensing their overreach, the people behind One House One Lot have started to downplay the fact that the legislation they support will dramatically impact the ability of existing homeowners to add to their […]