Thousands of tiny apartments, often called “apodments”, have been built in Seattle over the past several years, and they haven’t been a huge hit with many neighbors who live near them. More akin to dorm rooms than to traditional apartments, many of the units are only 150 square feet – about the size of a parking space – and occupy tall, narrow buildings that are often out of scale with the neighborhood and usually don’t provide any parking for residents, even in densely populated areas of the city such as Capitol Hill.
Micro Apartment sketch from Biz Journal
But the Puget Sound Business Journal is reporting that a new bill proposed by a Seattle City Council committee would put in place new regulations that could dramatically curtail this type of building. Under the new legislation, micro-housing would be subject to the Design Review Board, which can cost developers an extra $200,000 (currently they do not have to go through the design review process); units would have to be a minimum of 220 square feet; and builders would have to provide some parking spaces and possibly bicycle parking areas. The council vote on the new legislation is scheduled for October 6.
Apodments, or micro-apartments have been trending in Seattle’s rental realm over the past year, with 700 units built in the city limits thus far. These mico units have appealed to the carless city dwellers who can fit the majority of their belongings in a 100-185 sf space. According to the Seattle Pi, that is roughly the size of a city parking space.
An estimated 2,400 additional units are in the works for the city of Seattle, in different stages of planning and permitting. The growing popularity of these units has caused a debate over whether these units are opening up opportunities for more affordable housing, or if they’re causing a surplus of tenants to migrate into already crowded neighborhoods. Seattle micro-units generally range from 100-185 sf, cost around $660/month, and usually a private bathroom, but many do not have kitchens or full kitchens. For more information on Seattle rentals, visit your local real estate agent today.
If you haven’t seem them popping up in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill or the University District, you’ve certainly heard about the 50 some micro-apartments being built all over the city. While these tiny 150-200 sf apartments offer a cheaper living option for young Seattleites, they’re also stirring controversy across the board. According to the Seattle Times, some of these apartment buildings contain 64 units each, but because the city only counts kitchens, not sleeping quarters for development regulations, the buildings bypass design and environmental review as well as notice to neighbors that is usually required for multifamily projects.
Neighbors against the micro-apartments are trying to convince the city to adopt a moratorium on the apartments, as they’re concerned the buildings are creating a massive increase in neighborhood density. They feel that the city is currently allowing developers to twist the rules, and building developers are getting around standard regulations; they feel that developers should undergo the same regulations as multifamily projects. If you currently live in, or next to a micro-apartment building, we’d love to hear your feedback! Email us today if you love or hate them.
Have you noticed the surge in micro-housing in your neighborhood? Many Capitol Hill residents have expressed their frustration with this growing trend that packs dozens of small apartments, (generally 150 sf in size- and no that is not a typo!) into one building, which shared living quarters and private bath. According to Kiro News, a dozen or so of these buildings have popped up on the Hill, and neighbors are expressing their concerns that cramming these residents into the tiny spaces is degrading to their traditional community.
On Monday night, a group of 100 concerned neighbors came together to make themselves heard at a public meeting, where they stated their frustration for these aPodments, pint sized rooms available for around $600 a month. One issue that was addressed, is that the layout of these buildings may allow developers to sidestep a design review process, and neighbors want the city council to put a halt on the development until further regulations are put in place. Is there a need for this so called “micro-housing” within our neighborhoods? We’d love to hear your opinion!