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Tag: Conlin

City Council to discuss micro-housing developments Thursday

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/16/2013

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Richard Conlin

City Council to discuss micro-housing developments Thursday 
Public invited to share feedback with Councilmembers and City staff

SEATTLE — Seattle City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen, Nick Licata, Sally J. Clark and Richard Conlin today reminded Seattleites about a public meeting on micro-housing developments on April 18, in response to questions and concerns raised in several Seattle neighborhoods.

“Several Councilmembers and I are sponsoring a two hour meeting to review what is occurring due to the strong interest and concern we are hearing in the neighborhoods,” Councilmember Tom Rasmussen stated. “A portion of the meeting will include an opportunity for the public to provide comments and recommendations on what, if any, regulations should be enacted for this unique type of housing.”

In addition to a public comment opportunity, representatives from the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the Office of Housing (OH) and City Council staff will discuss Seattle’s recent experience with micro-housing. 

WHAT:             Micro-housing development discussion

WHEN:            Thursday, April 18, 11:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.
                        Members of the public are welcome to bring their lunch

WHERE:           Council Chambers, second floor
                        Seattle City Council, 600 Fourth Ave

WHO:              Seattle City Councilmembers and Council staff
                        Representatives from Seattle’s Dept. of Planning and Development
                        Representatives from Seattle’s Office of Housing

“I want to see more affordable housing built in Seattle along with our residential neighborhoods accommodating housing options that contribute to their character,” stated Councilmember Nick Licata, chair of the Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee. “I think both objectives can be accomplished and I look forward to this forum providing an opportunity to hear suggestions on how to fulfill both.”

“I’ve visited some of these micro-units,” said Council President Sally J. Clark. “They provide decent, often attractive housing for a range of people who don’t need or want a lot of space. They’re also appearing in greater numbers and more rapidly than some in the surrounding neighborhood want. This forum can provide a good airing of people’s support, concerns and ideas for appropriate regulation.”

“Microhousing can be an affordable option that works well with neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Richard Conlin, chair of the Council’s Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee. “However, it does not fit neatly into Seattle’s land use code, and we are looking for input on code improvements that will preserve the affordability while ensuring that these developments reflect both the letter and the spirit of our land use laws.”

Background

In recent years, micro-housing has emerged as an increasingly common residential building product in Seattle. Since 2006, DPD has received permit applications for 48 projects. Once all those projects are complete, it is estimated they will yield residential capacity for more than 2,300 people. In 2012, DPD received applications for approximately 15 micro-housing projects.

Micro-housing projects are generally comprised of apartment or townhome-style dwelling units, each of which contains several (often seven or eight) smaller living quarters clustered around a shared kitchen and laundry area. Each of the smaller living spaces within the dwelling unit is leased to an individual tenant. These spaces are typically 150 to 200 square feet in size and equipped with a kitchenette (refrigerator, microwave, sink) and private bathroom. Rent levels vary by location but are often in the range of $600 to $700 per month.

Developers have found Seattle offers a strong market for micro-housing, with completed projects leasing up quickly. Tenants often include students, service industry workers, and individuals who divide their time between Seattle and a residence in another location.  Geographically, about 40 percent of the projects are located on Capitol Hill and 25 percent in the University District, with the remainder spread throughout the city.

Because micro-housing is not well-defined in City codes it also may not be adequately regulated. Some of the issues and concerns the public has raised about Seattle’s growing stock of micro-housing include:

  • Within micro-housing projects, DPD currently counts the several small living quarters that surround a common kitchen and laundry area as a single dwelling unit (e.g., one apartment with eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms). As a result, most micro-housing projects do not meet the threshold for design review. Normally the design review process also provides opportunities for neighbors to comment and offer input on proposed projects.
  • DPD’s current practice of counting multiple living quarters within a micro-housing project as a single dwelling unit also complicates efforts to measure progress toward adopted growth targets in neighborhoods where micro-housing is located. It also can affect whether a proposed micro-housing project is subject to environmental review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
  • Micro-housing may not be an appropriate building type for all multifamily residential zones. 
  • Micro-housing projects are generally designed to house 25 to 100 individuals; however, on-site parking is rarely provided. 
  • The high cost of this housing on a price per square foot basis. 

[View in Council Newsroom]

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Seven remaining Councilmembers announce candidacy for Mayor

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/1/2013

Councilmember Richard Conlin
Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Seven remaining Councilmembers announce candidacy for Mayor
Will run as collective

SeattleThe seven Councilmembers who are not already in the race for Mayor today announced that they will pioneer a new model for Seattle governance by running for Mayor as a collective. The seven will appear on the ballot as a single name, “O’Bagcloddenconrasita,” reflecting their collegial approach to the position.

“Experience teaches us that seven heads are better than one,” said the group speaking in unison. “Seven of nine is an excellent model for decision-making,” they commented, making the obligatory geeky Star Trek allusion.

“This way the people of Seattle will know that there will always be a Mayor on the job,” O’Bagcloddenconrasita added. “By taking shifts, we can cover the Mayor’s office 24-7. And the Mayor can lobby in Olympia, cut a ribbon in West Seattle, and hold a town meeting in Ballard, all at the same time.”

Commenting on the legality of the proposed candidacy, City Attorney Pete Holmes was sanguine about the outcome of any possible court challenge. “Nothing in the City Charter prevents innovative approaches to governance,” Holmes added. “Furthermore, this will make it much easier to get a Mayoral signature on City documents.”

The group noted that the departure of seven Councilmembers simultaneously would make it difficult to do business and fill the seven vacancies on the Council, since there would not be a quorum remaining. However, the group agreed that this could easily be resolved by the use of serial resignations spaced one week apart between the election and taking office on January 1. That way, each week eight Councilmembers could conduct business and appoint someone to the vacant seat. By the end of December, seven new Councilmembers would be seated and join Mayor O’Bagcloddenconrasita in governing the City.

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Sustainable Path Foundation Names Councilmember Richard Conlin as “Sustainability Trailblazer”

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/28/2013

Councilmember Richard Conlin

Sustainable Path Foundation Names Councilmember
Richard Conlin as “Sustainability Trailblazer”

SeattleCouncilmember Richard Conlin has been honored as a “Sustainability Trailblazer” by the Seattle-based Sustainable Path Foundation. The Foundation recognized Councilmember Conlin’s commitment to sustainability through his accomplishments, including his creation of the Zero Waste Strategy, the Local Food Initiative and his shepherding of 37 neighborhood plans through the Seattle City Council.

“I am honored to receive this award from Sustainable Path Foundation,” Councilmember Conlin said. “Sustainability has been my passion since co-founding Sustainable Seattle more than 20 years ago, and it continues to be the guiding principle for my work on the Council.”

The Mission Statement of the Sustainable Path Foundation is to promote sustainability and health in our region through collaborative approaches informed by scientific understanding and systems thinking. The Sustainable Path Foundation envisions a sustainable future based on scientific understanding and respect for the interconnected nature of our world.

Gretchen Garth, Paul Brainerd, Chris Jordan, Cathy Tuttle and Kathleen O’Brien were also named “Sustainability Trailblazers.”  More information about each of the six honored recipients, including a full description of Councilmember Conlin’s credentials, is available at the Seattle Path Foundation’s website.

“Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council member, is our sixth Trailblazer,” read the Foundation’s announcement.  “Richard is being recognized for blazing a trail of sustainability through ensuring that the city values and practices environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, social justice, and community in its every day operations.  Thank you Richard Conlin!”

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City Council to discuss micro-housing developments

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/22/2013

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Richard Conlin

City Council to discuss micro-housing developments 
Public invited to share feedback with Councilmembers and City staff

SEATTLE — Seattle City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen, Nick Licata, Sally J. Clark and Richard Conlin today announced a public meeting on micro-housing developments on April 18, in response to questions and concerns raised in several Seattle neighborhoods.

“Several Councilmembers and I are sponsoring a two hour meeting to review what is occurring due to the strong interest and concern we are hearing in the neighborhoods,” Councilmember Tom Rasmussen stated. “A portion of the meeting will include an opportunity for the public to provide comments and recommendations on what, if any, regulations should be enacted for this unique type of housing.”   

In addition to a public comment opportunity, representatives from the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the Office of Housing (OH) and City Council staff will discuss Seattle’s recent experience with micro-housing. 

 

WHAT:           Micro-housing development discussion

WHEN:           Thursday, April 18, 11:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.

WHERE:         Council Chambers, second floor
                        Seattle City Council, 600 Fourth Ave

WHO:              Seattle City Councilmembers and Council staff
                        Representatives from Seattle’s Dept. of Planning and Development
                        Representatives from Seattle’s Office of Housing

“I want to see more affordable housing built in Seattle along with our residential neighborhoods accommodating housing options that contribute to their character,” stated Councilmember Nick Licata, chair of the Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee. “I think both objectives can be accomplished and I look forward to this forum providing an opportunity to hear suggestions on how to fulfill both.”

“I’ve visited some of these micro-units,” said Council President Sally J. Clark. “They provide decent, often attractive housing for a range of people who don’t need or want a lot of space. They’re also appearing in greater numbers and more rapidly than some in the surrounding neighborhood want. This forum can provide a good airing of people’s support, concerns and ideas for appropriate regulation.”

“Microhousing can be an affordable option that works well with neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Richard Conlin, chair of the Council’s Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee. “However, it does not fit neatly into Seattle’s land use code, and we are looking for input on code improvements that will preserve the affordability while ensuring that these developments reflect both the letter and the spirit of our land use laws.”

Background

In recent years, micro-housing has emerged as an increasingly common residential building product in Seattle. Since 2006, DPD has received permit applications for 44 projects. Those completed projects have a total capacity of about 2,000 people. In 2012, DPD received applications for approximately 15 micro-housing projects.

Micro-housing projects are generally comprised of apartment or townhome-style dwelling units, each of which contains several (often seven or eight) smaller living quarters clustered around a shared kitchen and laundry area. Each of the smaller living spaces within the dwelling unit is leased to an individual tenant. These spaces are typically 150 to 200 square feet in size and equipped with a kitchenette (refrigerator, microwave, sink) and private bathroom. Rent levels vary by location but are often in the range of $600 to $700 per month. 

Developers have found Seattle offers a strong market for micro-housing, with completed projects leasing up quickly. Tenants often include students, service industry workers, and individuals who divide their time between Seattle and a residence in another location.  Geographically, 52 percent of the projects are located on Capitol Hill and 30 percent in the University District, with the remainder spread throughout the city.

Because micro-housing is not well-defined in City codes it also may not be adequately regulated. Some of the issues and concerns the public has raised about Seattle’s growing stock of micro-housing include:

  • Within micro-housing projects, DPD currently counts the several small living quarters that surround a common kitchen and laundry area as a single dwelling unit (e.g., one apartment with eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms). As a result, most micro-housing projects do not meet the threshold for design review. Normally the design review process also provides opportunities for neighbors to comment and offer input on proposed projects.
  • DPD’s current practice of counting multiple living quarters within a micro-housing project as a single dwelling unit also complicates efforts to measure progress toward adopted growth targets in neighborhoods where micro-housing is located. It also can affect whether a proposed micro-housing project is subject to environmental review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
  • Micro-housing may not be an appropriate building type for all multifamily residential zones. 
  • Micro-housing projects are generally designed to house 30 to 60 individuals; however, on-site parking is rarely provided. 
  • The high cost of this housing on a price per square foot basis. 

[View in Council Newsroom]

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City Council to examine health care disparities in King County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/28/2013

Councilmember Richard Conlin
City Council to examine health care disparities in King County 
Local health officials to join Council brownbag forum
SEATTLE – Health care disparities, gaps in coverage …

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Seattle City Council adopts healthy vending machine legislation

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/4/2013

Mayor Mike McGinn
Councilmember Richard Conlin

Seattle City Council adopts healthy vending machine legislation

This afternoon the Seattle City Council unanimously adopted Council Bill 117710, requiring all vending machines operated on City Property to stock at least 50 percent “Healthier” and “Healthiest” food and beverage selections as defined by Public Health Seattle & King County King County Healthy Vending Guidelines.

“We are working to do our part to support healthier choices for those who want them,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “That’s why we included this effort in our Food Action Plan last year. I thank Councilmember Conlin for his leadership on this issue and I look forward to continuing to work with him to improve access to healthier food choices for our employees and all Seattle residents.”

Councilmember Richard Conlin, sponsor of the healthy vending machine legislation, issued the following statement after the vote, “Healthy vending helps to make the healthy choice the easy choice. This is one way that we can support healthy and productive City employees. City employees will now have more opportunities to consume more nutritious food and beverages while at work.”

Seattle’s Department of Parks and Recreation has led the way by successfully implementing the King County Healthy Vending Guidelines of “Healthier” and “Healthiest” choices in all vending machines in City park facilities in 2010.

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Submit your questions now to Seattle’s policy leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/27/2013
Submit your questions now to Seattle’s policy leadersCouncilmembers Conlin, Harrell and Rasmussen to appear on March’s City Inside/Out: Council Edition
Do you have questions for members of the City Council? What do…

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Council, Mayor propose healthy vending machine options

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/13/2013
Mayor Mike McGinn
Councilmember Richard Conlin

Council, Mayor propose healthy vending machine options
The Seattle City Council is considering legislation to increase the amount of healthy options in vending mach…

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National Earthquake Engineering conference coming to Seattle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/11/2013
Councilmember Richard Conlin

National Earthquake Engineering conference coming to Seattle
Councilmember Conlin to present draft earthquake legislation
The City of Seattle is excited to welcome the Earthquake Eng…

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Public invited to comment on memorandums of understanding related to renovation of Seattle’s Central Waterfront

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/28/2013
 
Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmemb…

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