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Comment on city council’s proposed amendments to ‘apodment’ land use regulations

The Seattle City Council is accepting comments on proposed amendments to land use regulations on “apodments” and similar type residences.
Written comments must be received by 12 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, so councilmembers can review them before voting later that day. Send comments by email to Committee Chair Mike O’Brien, mike.obrien@seattle.gov; or mail to Seattle City Council, Committee on the Built Environment, P.O. Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025.

Here’s a synopsis of the amendments:

  • Creates a definition for small efficiency dwelling units (SEDU).
  • Clarifies the definition of dwelling unit.
  • Establishes required components of SEDUs, including a 150 square foot minimum sleeping room area, a 220 square foot minimum total floor area, a food preparation area (sink, refrigerator, countertop, cooking appliance) and a bathroom (sink, toilet, shower or bathtub).
  • Limits the issuance of Restricted Parking Zone permits to no more than one per SEDU or congregate residence sleeping room.
  • Requires Streamlined Design Review to be applied, in all zones, to congregate residences and residential uses that are more than 50 percent comprised of SEDUs if they contain between 5,000 and 11,999 square feet of gross floor area.
  • Limits the construction of congregate residences that do not meet certain ownership or operational requirements to higher density zones that are located within Urban Centers and Urban Villages
  • Increases the minimum required area of communal space in a congregate residence from 10 percent of the total floor area of all sleeping rooms to 15 percent of the total floor area of all sleeping rooms.
  • Creates a new vehicle parking requirement of one parking space for every two SEDUs for areas of the City where vehicle parking is required for multifamily residential uses.
  • Increases bicycle parking requirements for SEDUs and congregate residences to 0.75 bicycle spaces per SEDU or congregate residence sleeping room.
  • Requires the bicycle parking required for SEDUs and congregate residences to be covered for weather protection.
  • Allows required, covered bicycle parking for SEDUs or congregate residence sleeping rooms to be exempt from Floor Area Ratio limits if the required parking is located inside the building that contains the SEDUs or congregate residence sleeping rooms.
  • Calls on the Department of Planning and Development to complete an analysis of the City’s vehicle and bicycle parking requirements and present its recommendations for regulatory changes to the City Council by no later than March 31, 2015.

After reviewing public comments and deliberating on the content of CB 118201, the Council may choose to adopt a final version of the legislation that differs from what is described above.

Copies of CB 118201 are available from the City Clerk’s Office or online at https://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~public/. Please reference CB 118201. The Clerk’s Office is located at 600 4th Avenue, Floor 3, in downtown Seattle and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Questions regarding CB 118201 or requests for electronic copies of the legislation may be directed to Sara Belz of the Legislative Department (684-5382 / sara.belz@seattle.gov) or Geoffrey Wentlandt of the Department of Planning and Development (684-5382 /geoffrey.wentlandt@seattle.gov