Community Post

Micro-Housing…Capitol Hill and Beyond…EastPAC Thursday, 5/23 Community Meeting

getimageHow does the development of Micro-housing impact you and your neighborhood?

There has been a lot of concern about this increasingly upward trend of Micro-Housing, also known as “APODments”, small, single occupancy units sometimes with shared kitchens. The Capitol Hill Community Council has been addressing this issue for some time, and the City Council has hosted forums to explore citizen concerns.

The micro-housing movement has been expanding beyond Capitol Hill into the Central District, First Hill and other East Precinct neighborhoods. With a rising demand for affordable housing, these units provide a way for young singles, professionals and retired folks to actually be able to live in Seattle, close to work, restaurants and entertainment venues, and also bring rich diversity to neighborhoods. These small units are not only affordable, but provide updated amenities such as free internet.

It seems like a simple solution. Or is it? What are the concerns of some citizens who reside in the neighborhoods near these developments?  Zoning loopholes, shortage of parking, transitional, short term residents?  What are the benefits to folks living in the units?

We hope to answer some of these and other questions at our Thursday, May 23rd East Precinct Advisory Board (EastPAC) Community Meeting. This is our effort to address a quality of life issues and proactively develop mutually beneficial solutions.

Guests include Bill Bradburd, Chair of Seattle Neighborhood Coalition and Jackson Place resident; The Stranger’s Dominic Holden, who recently wrote an informative article on this issue; Miriam Roskin, Manager for Planning and Policy, City of Seattle’s Office of Housing; and a representative from the City’s Department of Planning and Development.

The takeaway is, in our effort to be proactive, we will advocate for East Precinct citizens, likely in collaboration with the other city wide Precinct Advisory Councils, who’s constituencies are likely experiencing similar issues.

I am encouraging you to attend.

East Precinct Advisory Council Community Meeting, Thursday, May 23; 6:30 to 8:30 PM

Seattle University’s Chardin Hall, 1020 East Jefferson

Enter the campus at 11th and East Jefferson, park FREE in the lot

Enter the building and turn right down the hall

23 thoughts on “Micro-Housing…Capitol Hill and Beyond…EastPAC Thursday, 5/23 Community Meeting

  1. Need to do some facts checking on this Bill guy, there is no organization called the Seattle Neighborhood Coalition only the Seattle Federation of Community Councils and this guy is NOT the chair.

    • Seattle Neighborhood Coalition has been around for 30 years – if you don’t believe me, why not ask the mayoral candidates who have spoken at their last few meetings. They’ve started a website recently, which you can view here: “This Bill guy” is the chair at present. Hey, Eyes, fact check much?

      • Yep I fact check and checked your web link. The group meets once a month and appears to have NO Governing Body that has a chair. Appears that you have appointed yourself to a position that does not exist.

      • True that Eyes. Looks like a bunch of self appointed noodles to me. How many old pony tail guys can you put in one photo? These folks don’t look very representative of the community to me. Looks more like a meeting of the lonely old commie sympathizer recluse society. Motto – Oppose Something!, but, be sure to use your squeaky voice.

      • Eyes, I’m flattered that you think I am Bill – another epic fail on your part. (I’m guessing that guy is too busy getting things done – whether you agree with them or not – to bother responding to inaccurate and mean-spirited trolling in comment threads).

        Here’s a thought – if you really care about this issue then attend the meeting and actually contribute. And, Grumbo (whose comments are usually more thoughtful than the vitriol spewed by Eyes), I don’t get the impression that the SNC is claiming to be representative of anything other than a group of interested people who have been meeting for many years in an effort to become more informed about the city and the way it works, and perhaps effect positive change.

        As I understand it, a major reason why many people are concerned about micro-housing has to do with the subversion of land-use codes by developers – I would hope that people could get over their knee-jerk responses and listen to what is being said, because this IS important, and has major potential ramifications for development in the city. Micro-housing has its place – it is not, however, going to solve the problems around density and affordable housing that the city faces.

        I’m done feeding the Eyes troll, so feel free to close the thread with your usual barrage of lies and innuendo, lightly sprinkled with hatred.

      • Everyone, this pseudonym stuff is getting out of control. While it’s not our site rules that you ave to use your real names, at least stick to using one name. Thanks.

  2. Oh yes when has landuse become a “crime” and public safety issue that the Eastpac has as a mission statement and has grants to address. This is a departure that goes against your mission statement and grant requirements. this will need to be addressed to your funders.

    • From our officially approved by-laws: Mission: The East Precinct Advisory Council (EastPAC) provides a forum to resolve public safety priorities; evaluates, advocates and facilitates strategies that reduce crime and improve the quality of life for the East Precinct Community; and actively partners with law enforcement and other entities to address barriers to these outcomes.

      Key is “improve the quality of life” here and it appears as if Micro-Housing/Land use is, to some, a quality of life issue. Here’s the thing: WHY do some folks think we get paid, have grants, and other pockets of funding??!? It’s the oddest thing…we have no money, no grants, no bank accounts, and are tireless volunteers. The great thing about being 100% volunteer is you don’t have anyone to answer to!

      We respond to citizen’s concerns-which is not always a response to crime. And if I had my way more folks out there would step up and work with us to PREVENT crime. For free!

      -Stephanie, EastPAC Chair

      • You have a phone, you have a place to call an office and expenses, who pays for that? Vounteering your time is fine but funding for expenses are another. In all the posts you put out this is the first to target landuse and development.

      • EastPac does not have an office or support staff. We are all volunteers. A few may represent specific organizations as part of their jobs.

  3. The fact of the matter is that working people are being priced out of the city and Seattle City Council and other agencies aren’t doing enough to keep housing affordable but instead cave in to the demands of developers.$1220 a month for a one bedroom is NOT affordable. While these micro-housing units may not be the best solution at least they are providing affordable housing.

  4. I volubteer to afflict you citizens to my bad reactionary ideas and attitude.

    • I would like to see some more Micro Housing. Can think of several great locations for it, but, most any would do. Intersect of Rainier and Dearborn would be great. Right on the bus line. Easy connect to Eastside or Downtown. Need more residents in that area to support a revitalization of the Dearborn corner. Could be jobs and stuff to do in that poplar place area. Add a distillery, and a big dog park by the freeway. More I say. More. Also stack a ton of them all along MLK and 23rd. More people trying to make it means a better hood.

  5. Hi, just wanted to weigh in here on some misinformation provided by Eyes.

    The Seattle Neighborhood Coalition (SNC) does exist! It is a open membership organization that meets the second Saturday of each month to discuss issues relevant to citizens of Seattle. The group has met continuously since 1983. I have been leading the group since late 2011 when the former chair, Kent Kamerrer, passed away suddenly.

    Yes, we have bylaws and a real board (which includes Central Area residents John Barber, (former Parks Board member and chair of Parks and Open Space Advocates), and Joan Paulson (Pike Place Market Preservation & Public Development Authority)), and we have several Central Area residents regularly attend our meetings who can attest to our existence too!

    All are welcome. At our monthly meeting we have a speaker followed by lively Q&A sessions. See our website for more information about attending and to get a feel for the breadth of issues we cover:

    Finally, the other group to which Eyes refers is actually called the Seattle Community Council Federation (SCCF). Representatives from community councils around the city attend these meetings. It is a dues-based organization, but their meetings are open.

    One last point. Starting in July our Saturday SNC meetings will move the “The Central” (formerly Central Area Senior Center). So it will be easier for central area folks to attend. We hope to see you there, pony tail optional…

    • No misinformation from me. The link is the same as jp resident posted, no bylaws or any content that shows anything other than a social political group very different than the Federation that has bylaws history and a elected head that is not this guy. Jp resident posted the same web site as this guy Bill my guess they are both the same.

      • And your find those bylaws on the websites of every community council do you? Point is, unlike some cities where a person actually votes in the real election (you know where your ballot is secret?) for thier neighborhood council, in Seattle you show up and you get a vote.

        So show up at an SNC monthly meeting. Some of the topics and speakers are really interesting.

      • What would be fun is to take over the platform. It’s always fun to check into the bylaws and then send in a bunch of folks over time to be qualified voters, and then scoop the whole place. I’ve often wonderred if we could do that to churches. Take them over and sell their assets, fire the godheads, and start up a bar.

      • Well Grumbo have you ever gone to ANY actual community council much less participate in the governance of it?

        If you say generally where you live I am positive I can tell you the CCs and even non-incorporated neighborhood improvement groups for where you live.

        See talk is cheap and hiding behind a handle is cheaper. Most of us here know each other personally. We don’t waste a lot of time saying more than we would post on Facebook, instead we actually do the work in our community councils and in other groups where people ummm talk face to face.

      • Interesting how typicall it is for self appointed groups and individuals assume that they are the leaders and others don’t participate and never have. There is a reason I don’t participate incertain groups that have weird little control agendas. By participating in them we end up giving them credibility to shift the message that the groups have value. Frequently all these councils and advisory boards provide the opposite of value to the community. They provide a venue to dump energy and for the city government or others a chance to say – we tried everything and heard from the community. Meanwhile the boards and groups are stacked with sit at home noodle brains and representatives of organizations – that are not representative of the residents. As if Seattle School Board or the Catholic Church deserve a seat as much as an actual person. These “people” serve to skew the agenda and the whole group is expected to form a consensus. Typically the entire organization is premised around the exptectation that there will be harmony and agreement. That skews the “representation” to a patsy minded noodle headed let’s follow the order and agenda. The agenda is to put 57 ideas on a page, 25 of wich are the intended mind sucking goals of the cause of the meetings and the other 32 ideas are eventually ruled out as disharmonious. Let’s say – we don’t want a prison in the neighborhood. There will be an advisory group promoted as a forum. The deck starts with appointed members of goverment bodies and an equal number of “interested residents” selected by a council member. A paid consultant will keep do all the drafting and note taking. The first agenda is a “balanced statement and list of points to develop”. Half of the statement will be about why prison’s are needed, blah, blah blah. Half the points will be about why the community does not want a prison. After 9 months of work the rebutals against the actual residents will be mitigation of the negative aspects of a prison. The residents are guilted into agreeing with the agenda since all of their objections have been addressed. And the city walks away with an agreement from the community. It’s a crock of ___ that in fact I have been through a hundred times. And further more I am far more to the right politically and can’t actually stand listenning to hour upon hour of mind numbing commie spew as if it deserves to be heard for the ten thousenth time. And as for the name “Grumbo”, it is simply a fun play on my intent to not agree to be skewed by the expectation to have a consensus.

        And your allegation that I or others might not be involved or engaged in building the community is arrogant and childish. There are a million ways to be a good citizen. The fact that there or not 10,000 people on the little councel of sympathizers indicates that people have found 10,000 more productive things to do, not that the don’t care.

        The point being is that EastPac is skewed by school board members and others as a part of their jobs. They get paid to go to these things and bend the logic. In association with a hand full of nutters with nothing better to do, they usurp the voice of the community, support the agenda of the city, and that agenda is to absolve administration and council of their responsibility for wasting everybody’s time and money on meaningless dialog about stupid pet projects. Rather than actually fixing roadways, policing the streets, etc. The result is we keep ineffective administrators in thier offices. Take a look at the streets and schools. They have been wasting your time and money for decades and saying – this is what the people agreed to. Well, I’m not agreeing to it.

  6. Well, I am for following the rules as they are, when it doesn’t impact my moral obligation to have a good time. So, if the rules are being subverted somehow, then we should certainly have a look. Clearly Seattle Dept of Planning and Development (SDPD aka sdupud) is known to biasly apply the law on behalf of the city and it’s darling pet projects.

    What would help is an article with some serious meat in it. a review of the legal opinions surrounding the ordinances and applications of it. Not suggesting Tom has to do it, but, somebody. There’s not much constructive purpose in dropping in on a meeting or two unless you have been privy to the facts that anybody in attendance ought to know. CDN is a great forum to post the whole story.

    Typically what we see are intro to the info and we get to make up the details and snark about these imaginary details. Which is a lot of fun. I will respond constructively to well developed arguments and details about how SDPD is failing to address apply code. Said constructive input may still be biased support of needed development in a crumbling neighborhood.

    Accepting diversity means planning for and allowing the social and economic ammenities that allow for it. There are alot of single working people who just want a room to crash in and a place to take a dump in the morning. I was one of those people for decades. Instead I had to room with people who drank to much and stole and spare change I left around. If I kept anything in my car then my car would get broken into. Would have been nice to find a room for $1000 bucks that was secure and had a place. All kinds of people want a deal like this. Chinese and Indian dudes working in the tech or other industries. Guys that never went to college. Guys that just got out of college. Old farts. Hopeless underpaid terminal bachlors and bachloretes straight and gay or perversions of the two. Pedophiles. Axe murderers. Sissies, functional drunks, etc. Everyone that we allow into our society needs a place to live. MicroHousing is a good affordable choice for some of these people.

    • If you want some facts, I’d suggest you read the Land Use and Building Codes for a start. Then study the Land Use maps.

      Then there are two videos under the City Council Transportation Committee of special meetings on apodments.

      There are facts amongst the impressions and opinions. I gets really boring to attend yet ANOTHER meeting when people are not already prepared with the information available.

  7. Sorry Grumbo, I was not addressing that as a reply to you specifically but more as agreement.

    Yes, Council members are aware of the fact that they need to get on top of the code. DPD is working on code revisions now.

    I agree, there is a need and a value for us having SROs, and I refuse to pretty it up with marketing terms like apodments or even micro-housing.

    Why do I refuse to pander and pretty it up? I spent some time in the 1970s doing firewatch at some of those dreaded SROs. The people I met were largely elders, with incredible histories of a life of hard work. Their experiences provided me an oral history of Seattle and the Northwest and many life lessons. The problem was not them, it was the fact that the building owners would not do the safety upgrades. They wanted to sell so that new building could be built for richer people.

    So, I will call it what it is. Single Room Occupancy. We need that housing option. The point is doing it well and having the density where it makes sense.