Advocacy opportunities in May and June

Accessory Dwelling Unit reform in Seattle

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are small houses that can be added to an existing single-family home, e.g. a basement unit.  Today, it’s difficult to create ADUs because of onerous requirements like requiring a parking spot for each ADU (which can cost up to $30,000) and size restrictions.

The city is considering legislation that will make it easier to build ADUs by removing the parking requirement, making it easier to build ADUs on less land, and removing requirement that the main house be owner-occupied.  

ADUs come with many benefits:

·       They reduce emissions from commuting by allowing more people to live near transit

·       They allow homeowners who are “house rich but cash poor” to convert some of their home equity into passive income

·       We could, in the future, subsidize ADU construction to build affordable housing

·       They allow more neighbors to live in our wonderful city!

Advocacy opportunities and events

Right now, a legal challenge to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the ADU legislation is being considered by the city’s hearing examiner, who is expected to make a ruling in May.  If the ruling goes in the city’s favor, we’ll be able to support ADU legislation by: 

·       Writing letters to the City Council and Mayor’s office in support of ADU reform

·       Giving public comment at the June 11 public hearing

If you’d like to learn more about ADUs or practice testifying, MOAR Seattle is also hosting an Art Build, Talking Points, and ADU Event Prep at 5:30pm on 5/28!

Read more

·       The Urbanist:  DEIS Shows Options and Urgency of Pending Backyard Cottage Reform

·       The C is for Crank: Prohibitive and Frustrating

Affordable housing at Fort Lawton

Seattle is proposing to build up to 240 units of affordable housing at a decommissioned military base called Fort Lawton in Magnolia.  However, the proposed development has been tied up in lawsuits from homeowner groups since 2008.

On Tuesday, May 21, at 5:30 p.m. at Seattle City Hall, the city will collect its (hopefully final) round of public feedback on the Fort Lawton redevelopment.  It’s always great to show up in favor of affordable housing!

Read more

·       Seattle Mag: Why the Fort Lawton Development in Magnolia Is a Tipping Point in Seattle's Housing Debate

Affordable housing at Interbay

In the business of city building, land is generally hard to come by.  However, the Washington National Guard is moving from a 25-acre parcel of land at Interbay and giving it to Washington State.    The state is looking for feedback on what to do with the land – it’ll likely be used for either affordable housing or light industrial jobs.

Advocacy opportunities

The Interbay Public Development Advisory Committee is holding an open house on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at the Ballard VFW Hall (2812 NW Market St.) at 6:00 PM to discuss with the public what we should do.  The more people telling them that we want affordable housing, the better!

Read more

·       The Urbanist: Let’s build a dense, climate-resilient EcoDistrict in Seattle’s Interbay

Calvin Jones