HOW TO COMMENT on the Cottage EIS! (instructions)
Jun 14, 2018 — step 1. Go to: http://www.seattle.gov/council/adu-eis
step 2. Click on "comment here" Google Form or go to this direct link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdGm0qliWID1Te4zFbexQ5nXRkPYN-Szfxzpi43yuXQ_-htNA/viewform
step 3. enter your email address, scroll down and hit NEXT
step 4. scroll down to "Other comments about the Draft EIS" and start with a personalized response. For example:
My name is _______________
My household is made up of _________
I live in District ___________
I want more housing because _____________ (mention personal and also city-wide, region-wide and climate-friendly goals).
step 5. cut and paste all or any of the following MOAR recommendations into "Your answer" space:
I support more Accessory Dwelling Units and would like to see the final EIS recommend:
1. Freedom to choose best fit and type when creating accessory dwelling units. Allowing owners to make two accessory dwelling units either both as attached to the primary dwelling or one attached, one detached, or both in a detached structure, in front or to side of primary residence. Flexibility is key, as long as the overall form fits within the bulk of currently allowed Single Family Zoned structures.
2. Elimination of the parking requirement for ADUs regardless of number. Providing parking is often expensive, unnecessary, and in many cases infeasible. This will prioritize vegetation and open area over vehicle storage.
3. Striking the owner occupancy restriction. Owners of Seattle backyard cottages surveyed by OPCD stated the greatest barrier to creating a DADU was the owner occupancy requirement. Both Portland and Vancouver do not have owner occupancy requirements and have not experienced widespread problems with speculation. Both maintain high percentages of owner occupancy without need for regulation. Finally, the underlying rationale that renters or landlords are not adequately invested in their communities is an outdated and classist prejudice, especially considering the majority of Seattleites are renters, and that there are very few new opportunities to own. Seattle’s houses are filled with renters (27%) and Seattle’s Single Family zones are filled with thousands of grandfathered lowrise multi-dwellings.
4. Elimination of minimum lot size for ADUs. If you can put a house on it, you should also be able to create an ADU by right, within the same bulk restrictions allows by the zone. Fourteen percent of Seattle lots fall below the current lot size threshold and they are often in neighborhoods with the best access to transit, schools, parks and jobs, exactly where most people would like to live.
5. Increasing the allowed gross floor area for detached accessory dwelling units for 1000 square feet and attached dwellings units to 1500 square feet. This small increase will lead to more two bedroom plus dwellings for the larger Seattle households. Separating non-livable space from the accessory dwelling unit’s gross floor area calculation will increase the number of dwellings that can be constructed on top of or adjacent to existing garages by allowing for more flexibility on constrained sites. Requiring occupancy separation and separate entrance to living and storage spaces would reduce illegal conversions.
6. More allowable rear yard coverage. Having increased rear yard coverage allows additional flexibility in design, to preserve trees, yard space, or existing accessory structures.
7. Incremental increases in size and height allowances and options for roof features such as dormers and green roofs. These cottages are still 10 feet shorter than what is allowed for the primary residence.
8. Support raising maximum household size, total number of residents on site to 12
9. Do not apply Mandatory Housing Affordability. Many of the ADUs we have are used for family, or rented well below market. Adding a potentially five figure fee at their creation for affordable housing elsewhere would drastically reduce the ability of everyday people to make their own contribution to affordable housing on their own land.
10. Reducing pre-development costs and streamlining permitting by dedicating specialized reviewers to ADU/ DADU projects. With three dedicated staff positions, DCI could reduce the turnaround on permit reviews to a matter of weeks rather than months. If the city pre-approved stock plans with a list of available zoning departures, such as 2 extra feet of allowable height for sloping lots, residents who want to build an ADU have a clear and predictable pathway through permitting.
11. Studying how limiting new principal structures to .5 FAR can incentivize the creation of additional attached and detached accessory dwellings, and limit displacement/ demolition/ gentrification. Additional FAR bonuses for green building, specific site conditions such as alley and corners should also be a component of this study.
step 6. Answer the optional Demographic Survey
step 7. hit submit
step 8. Tweet about this process or post on facebook and encourage other folks to do it, too!
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