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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Small Lot Legislation: An Architect’s Perspective.

The Walsh Hollon House designed by Neiman Taber Architects

As an architect who specializes in housing, I occasionally get involved in discussions with DPD and the city council about land use issues.  In general, I look at proposed legislation from this perspective:  What kind of outcomes will the new legislation encourage?  Are these good outcomes?  If I’m trying to design housing using these new rules, is the code helping or hindering? […]

PLUS Schedule: Busy Weeks Ahead


City Council staff has set out the schedule for the Planning Land Use and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee for the coming weeks. The PLUS Committee will be considering legislation that potentially can have big impacts on building of new single-family homes and microhousing. These will be some of the most important land use decisions the Council […]

Design Review: Adding Color and Costs to Housing


Over at Capitol Hill Seattle yet another example of why design review adds costs and complication to housing projects. A Department of Planning and Development representative confirmed to CHS that the developers of Viva Capitol Hill, the six-story, 105-unit mixed-use apartment building finishing construction in the triangle at 12th, E Union and Madison, has been denied a temporary […]

Comp Planning: All of the Above!


Let me start by saying that regional planning and planning for future growth is a serious business and it isn’t easy. The City of Seattle is currently starting a long public process around where future growth–which really means more people–should go. They have three options: Alternative 1: Urban Center Focus Most growth would be encouraged […]

The Rents They Are a Changing

Rents Change

The politics of housing in Seattle are all about prices, especially monthly rents. One side of the debate argues that if we create more housing options and choices in housing location and type, we’d get better places to live and stable or lowered prices. The other side of the argument holds that when we build […]

Keep Microhousing Prices Low and Fix Design Review

Microhousing at 422 11th East

We’ve been engaging the Council and opponents of microhousing for almost a year now and there is still strong support for microhousing as an important choice for people looking for a place to live in Seattle. But the efforts of opponents to scuttle microhousing continue and some on the City Council feel like they need […]