Comments

1
Well, hunhhh, Ms Elson is part of the problem: She's a breeder with "small children." Children take up a lot resources, including space. This planet does not need her small children. What a twit.
2
The dude sleeping at Seneca & 7th every night might take steerage.
3
I’m 66 and facing life on a reduced income. I can imagine a time when I’d appreciate micro-housing.
4
@1 “This planet does not need her small children”.

What this planet doesn’t need is nihilistic losers who can’t convince anyone to procreate with them.

It’s too bad you’re such a narcissist and won’t do us all the favor we’d like you to.
5
Christ, what an asshole. Another "I like a lot of space, therefore everyone else should be forced to pay for lots of space whether they want to or not" argument against small apartments. Also, can't let people with less money live in Fremont, then it won't be "quirky" anymore.

My favorite part is when she starts a paragraph with "Even without the ethical considerations, though..." when nothing written previously makes any reference to any ethical considerations whatsoever.
6
That, is, indeed, a terrible piece of writing. Regardless of whether she is right or not on an urban-planning level (I personally don't believe one bit that she's concerned for the well-being of these poor people forced into 'veritable tenemants' [that's a 'veritably' embarrassing groaner], or the people with disabilities), it has no logical consistency or coherent thread. It's like the author is trying, through sheer repetition of the phrases like "Project 3026875" and "I know I'm part of the problem but...", to confuse the issue just enough to derail any change to her comfort level. God it makes me sick. Yes, I agree with Heidi here, this entitled attitude IS what's wrong with Seattle.
7
You people are funny. You act like you’re taking some moral high road by not having kids.

The truth is that natural selection is weeding you out. Which is excellent, we don’t need any more of the likes of you.
9
Waiving parking requirements does not result in one single additional unit ever getting built. It does result in bigger paydays for greedy developers.
10
The parking argument here is particularly rich (and not only because most NIMBYs have learned that this kind of argument makes them look like idiots).

Yeah, Nobody needs cars.
11
Building units that don't come with a parking space doesn't actually solve the problem. If those units don't come attached to viable alternative transportation options, then all this does is increase the on-street parking misery for everyone.

I'm not saying this is the case here—I don't know the local situation there in Fremont—but if the neighborhood is not designed to allow people to run errands and more importantly get to work on foot, bicycle, or public transit, then things like eliminating parking spaces (and gas taxes and the like) are nothing more than additional taxes on the working class.

Incidentally, this is exactly the kind of thing that liberals tend not to take into account these days. Very often the economic "nudges" they are so fond of can't result in the change of behavior they desire. So the expense of the "nudge" gets added to the burden that the working class have to bear.

A good example of this is the gas tax. Economists will tell you that you get less of whatever it is that you tax. And in the aggregate, they're right. So why not tax gas higher and get less driving and hence less CO2 emissions? And this is actually the policy that California is following, combined with state rebates for electric vehicles and the like. Sounds great, right?

Well, who bears the burden of this? The well-off, those who can afford to buy new cars, they make out like bandits. Subsidies for their new car, access to HOV lanes even if they're alone, no more gas tax (even if their electricity comes from dirty coal, but never mind). Those with more modest means do OK. Maybe they can buy a used hybrid and make up the loss to some extent. The working poor in a 20 year old car who are barely making ends meet? They're just stuck paying more at the pump.

And opting out is not an option for them because we've spent literally decades and decades building out infrastructure that makes us dependent on cars. Which applies to everyone from the uber-rich down to the person trying to keep their family going on a $12/hour job.

Obviously increasing density is a big part of turning that ship around. But without the other pieces in place to get people to work by other means, we need to be sure that we're not punishing the people who most need the help.
12
Micro apartments are like prison cells. No parking when the poor generally must be more mobile than most and a car is make or break when employment is concerned. Squeezing in more prison cell apartments by eliminating parking will make all of them cost less, right?

Our problem is too many people, too fast and we weren't prepared for it. We are an hourglass city bordered east and west by two bodies of water and two mountain ranges with little room to spread. To make it worse, it's a great place to live. We could all do our part by moving away. Heidi, want to move?
13
I thought that The Stranger finally realized micro apartments, or aPODments as they used to be called, were actually an overpriced scam that helped accelerate the rising costs of full apartments by providing a new bottom.

I guess not. Micro Apartments are not cool, hip, or fun. They’re awful. Their price per square foot is higher than every other apartment providing a new base for the next wave of rent hikes.

Dominic Holden used to shill for aPODments pretty hardcore. Heidi, you should ask him why he stopped shilling for them.
14
Micro apartments or aPODments? Let's call them Solitary Confinement Units, it's closer to the truth.
15
Two blocks from the following transit lines: 5 26X 28X 31 32 40 62. My son grew up in Fremont. Cars aren’t a necessity here. Half the people passing by on that road are in transit, a quarter bike, and only a quarter drive. Real Fremonsters walk twice as often as residents of other neighborhoods.
17
@11: Whether or not your arguments and examples are sound, your premise is wrong: this is not a "liberal nudge", this is simply the free market deciding there are enough people willing to live in apartments in Fremont without a parking space. The "nudge" would be if regulations forced the builder to either include parking or exclude it.

And the answer to your "concern" trolling: yes, there is public transit and walkability in Fremont. This particular part of Fremont has a walkscore of about 95, meaning you can get everything you need on foot. But that's beside the point -- no one is forcing anyone to live in a place without parking. No one is forcing anyone to develop buildings without parking. In most places we are "nudging", to use your term, by forcing developers to build parking, and years of doing this has had the worst possible unintended consequences. So it sounds to me like you should be on the side of this article, not the ST article.
18
Th part about the Times' article that grosses me out the most is how the author just HAD to point out, when describing counter-culture in Seattle, that "oh god, I'm not one of them -- I just like to stare and point!".
19
It occurs to me that Heidi Groover is carrying around a lot of anger and hatred that spills over into her writing. Why all the personal invective? The original poster can be assumed to be an intelligent person of good faith. So Heidi flames her and now that gets reflected and amplified in the comments.
20
@19, It can be assumed, by reading her written words (and with only a cursory understanding of the context), that the original poster did not write in good faith, but rather in well-known, tired, NIMBY-ese. Or perhaps (a longshot, here) it was in good faith, but without a basic understanding of what concern trolling is, how she is doing it, and how NIMBY sentiment is antithetical to good policy. When you get published as she did in the Seattle Times making dangerous statements (dangerous, because people are living on the street in no small part because we don't have enough housing, and her and the Times' approach to policy is what makes it nearly impossible to build enough housing), then no, kallipugos, she does not get a pass. She is not a victim: she wrote a loaded piece in the Times, and whether she doesn't know what she is talking about or if she does know and is simply trying to stymie housing the NIMBY way, both her and the Times' deserve to be called out hard.
21
@18 - Same. I can see it with people on Capitol Hill who like the fun, quirky neighborhood but get pissed off if the fags kiss in front of them.

@19 - Nothing she wrote indictated I should assume that.
22
And the usual suspects acts haven't changed much. Sad.
23
@1 is correct. More than one child and you are actively contributing to the destruction of the planet.
24
@4, 7, 8: You are severely sarcasm-challenged, I think.
25
200' sq apartment can only be seen as transitional housing, which is sorely needed in Seattle, but may be not there (I don't know enough to tell).

Parking issue is a red herring since people needing transitional housing don't typically own a car (or shouldn't given the cost). Besides, environmental limits and population levels demand both that we quit driving in the city and that we have very few offspring (given we can't guarantee future earth will continue to provide for their basic needs)
26
@1
Children take up far less resources than adults.
In light of the planetary crisis isn't suicide by adults the only responsible moral choice?
Who will lead the way?

27
What a ridiculous, clickbait headline. No one here seems to care that the apodment will not even face a street - rather, a very narrow, dead-end alley. I'm not sure how that could pass the design review as it would be a nightmare for moving trucks, package deliveries, fire trucks, ambulances, etc. Not to mention the disabled. Anyone with half a brain would want to take a second look at this project.
28
Those apadments were championed by Charles and Dominic back in the day when the developers who were building them everywhere were buying ad space in The Stranger.
29
Rents are even higher on the Eastside:

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/re…

Soon we will all be living in Sumner.
30
@27: the building faces a street, a major one: Fremont Ave N. Due to the slope, the entrance for the units will be off the alley, just like all the other residences that will be their neighbors. But for emergencies like putting out a fire, fire trucks would be able to park on Fremont Ave, and in other emergencies first responders would be able to access from Fremont Ave on foot if needed. It's true that residents will have to figure out the best way to hail an uber, but I'm sure all the existing neighbors will teach them; and Amazon will already know how to delivery down the alley, since the existing residents certainly aren't living without Prime.
31
Preach Heidi. Please keep fighting the good fight and calling bullshit when necessary.
32
Everyone has the right to decent shelter and it would be possible in a humane society. Its time in the 21st century that poverty is eliminated.

The city of Seattle must cut the bullshit. They have aided and abetted the systemic elimination of lower cost rental housing these past years to grease the rails for the developers and wealthy landlords. We’ve been sold out by the city government and accomplices.

When .1% of the population has over half the world’s wealth we know radical change must take place,
33
@32: Can you name a country in world history that has achieved the values in your first paragraph?
34
@33 Japan today has practically no homelessness- 1/30th the rate of the U.S. And they have better healthcare with a smaller proportion of their per capita GDP. Israel, Switzerland, and South Korea all have approximately 1/10th the rate of homelessness that we have in America.
35
@32. Whose housing does everyone have a right to? Yours? Mine? Does that right mean I have to build housing for free for people? Or do I get compensated? By who? The government? Who ponies up the money for them? The rich? Why are some people entitled to things that others are forced to provide? Because that sounds like slavery to me.

Housing is not a right.
36
Looks like the .1 % of the super wealthy feel that they have the right to over half of the world’s wealth since they have it. Do you agree with that?

Muffy - ever the the reactionary it appears. You are ok with people sleeping out in the cold and rain?

Raindrop - I’m so surprised you don’t know. Today there are parts of Spain and other areas in the world doing it or that are working on it. Prove it has never happened and why it is not a worthy goal. So your ok with poverty. Are you poor?
37
Terrific thread from Seattle Tech for Housing: https://mobile.twitter.com/seatech4housi…
38
@ivy. Answer the question. Where is the housing that people have a “right” to supposed to come from? They have a right to it, who has an duty to provide said right?

To be fair and answer your question, I’m not ok with people sleeping in the cold and rain. There should be adequate shelter beds available to those who desire them.

I’m also ok with housing first programs where housing is contingent upon clean ua’s or commitment to mental health services.
39
There is lots to argue about here, but only one comment directly addresses the problem with this specific project: it's a bad location for two dozen SEDUs. (charmander @27)

G g @ 30; you are wrong; SDOT doesn't even want to allow a stairway on the Fremont side. Aside from the ludicrousness of assuming residents are going to move their stuff in and out that way ever if there is a long stairway up. They will be in the alley constantly.

The alley is a substandard 12 foot wide path (most are at least 16) with a 90° turn at the south end making it impossible for anything larger than a pickup to go through. A number of buildings are built right to the edge of the alley. There is no slack.

Fremont has many sites already zoned for this type of project that make more sense. Even the (IMO) new ugly 60± SEDU units in two buildings on 36 hundred block of Linden a couple blocks away make much more sense location-wise.

The 'edge' problems with this site originated when the City drawing the Fremont Urban Village boundary along that alley (mid-1990s). In some acknowledgment of that concern, it was originally zoned Lowrise 1, but that was increased to Lowrise 2 in 2010. That change not only increased the size of allowed buildings, but also changed the rules from unit count limits (X units per sq ft of lot), to FAR limits (floor area limits based on size of site, but no limit on number of units except minimum size). The City created the conflict over this project (and many others) through poorly thought top down zoning changes, and wants to make them worse with the proposed MHA up zones.

We do have a need for lots more small units. However, overpriced and poorly sited SEDUs will not replace the SROs that http://features.crosscut.com/homeless-in…">the City helped make disappear starting …." Our problem is not a shortage of new housing units, the problem is a shortage of affordable units. If you think $1200 for a 260 sq ft SEDU is "affordable," I've got a [Fremont] bridge I'd be happy to sell you.

Spittle flinging fulminations against straw NIMBYism won't solve housing, homelessness, equity, or any other of our society's huge and growing systemic problems.
41
@36: So why did you extrapolate that I'm okay with poverty from my question?

The answer is because you wanted to.

Parts of Spain huh? Re-read 38 and try harder.

@34: Fair answer. But some slip through the cracks.
42
So you agree people deserve some kind of shelter.

Housing first program is not contingent upon anything except being homeless (needing a home). Its offered just as social services would be offered. Being offered something helps preserve peoples' dignity. Despite the way this system operates poor people are just as good as rich people.

Get the $ from the very wealthy instead of sticking it to ordinary people which is the usual way. Its a decent way to do it.
43
Raindrop - what is your solution to poverty if you are not ok with it? You didn’t answer my question - are you poor?
44
@43: Are you really saying that if a person doesn't have a solution to poverty that they're okay with it? Well then, by your logic all poor people must come up with a solution to their own poverty if they are not okay with it.

No, I'm not poor. Neither you St. Ivy. All of us who have been maintaining an internet connection and wasting time on this site are defiantly, not poor.
45
Parking may make housing more expensive, but I seriously doubt that providing parking at apartments is causing any meaningful number of people to buy cars. Let me preface this by saying that i am fully on board with getting as many people as possible out of their cars (have bike commuted for more than 30 years) and completely agree that we need to stop burning gas whenever we want to go anywhere. BUT, not providing parking spaces in apartments is not going to make anyone get rid of their car. Especially not in small or cheap apartments. Who lives in apodments? People with stable professional jobs? People who are established in their careers so that they know where they are gong to be working next year? I bet not. Lower-cost housing is much more likely to be occupied by younger people or those working low-wage jobs, which also tend to be less stable. Those are exactly the people who realize (correctly) that they may well be going to a different part of town in future, and they may or may not be able to get there without a car (because of our shamefully inadequate transit infrastructure. This is a whole different rant, but just build the goddamned subway already. Stop fucking around with streetcars or buses that get stuck in traffic).

Anyway, people in low-priced housing are more likely to feel that they need a car, and they may well be right. Then build housing for them that has no parking, and watch the extra cars pile up on the street. That is where a lot of the NIMBY-ism that is keeping us from having affordable housing comes from and it is a bad strategy.
46
44 should end as..."definitely, not poor."
47
“Get the money from the wealthy.”.

So poor people have a right to wealthy people’s money?

That’s your argument. Be real about it. Don’t say blah blah blah housing blah blah blah healthcare... say what you mean.

“I want the government to take other people’s money and spend it on what I deem appropriate.”

Bravo. Now doesn’t that feel better?
48

“I want the government to take other people’s money and spend it on what I deem appropriate.”

Nah. Let's spend it on a War -- how bout In Afghanastan. Oh, and let's have one in Iraq, too. "They'll most likely pay for themselves!"

Oops! There goes THREE TRILLION DOLLAR$ we'll never see again.

Let me think ... now, where'd that money come from?
49
If I could afford the rent, and I could bring my cat, I'd be happy in an apodment. It might be the only way to stay in the city next year as my 450 sq ft 1 bedroom will be priced out of my budget. I don't have kids. I don't have a car. I have a full-time job, but it's not in tech.
50
"The current plans don’t include parking (presumably because parking spaces could be better used as more living rooms) ..."

I know this is meant to be snide, like "haha those dummies, they see a parking space and think 'living room' ", but imho a living room is a much better use of 100 square feet in a walkable, centrally located neighborhood than a parking space.
51
As for all these "not providing parking doesn't fix our car problem" arguments ... well no, of course not. The only thing that will fix our car problem is creating a transit system that makes taking the bus or the train more appealing than driving. But getting rid of this assumption that every unit of housing requires a private place for car storage is a start.

I know this idea is mind-blowing to the car dependent, but there are thousands of people in this city who are cheerfully car free and appreciate not having to subsidize other people's private car storage with their rent. Encouraging people without cars to live in the city core is good for everyone: car-free folks get walkable neighborhoods and the car dependent get less competition for space on the street and parking spaces.
52
Wow - your article vilifies the woman who wrote in to the Seattle Times expressing a completely valid opinion about a neighborhood she actually lives in.

Is this the way all "Urbanists" think? Everyone is a NIMBY unless they want to "Build Baby Build?" anywhere in Seattle with no zoning, parking or impact fee requirements?
53
NIMBY is a term used to bully people into being quiet. How about actually looking at the merit of the project, and not just blindly support every development no matter how bad.
54
@52 - Yes, she has a stupid opinion that people are rightfully calling her out on. Is this the way all NIMBY'S think, that just because you have a brain fart about limiting housing that suddenly your opinion is more valid than others? Why is that?

@53 - No it's not, and they aren't. But it's clear why you're being disingenuous, considering the only time you comment is when housing is being discussed.
56
@54, is that angry scowling face really you, or just the image you and your words project?

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