As we reported yesterday, city council member Tom Rasmussen is considering legislation that would place a moratorium on so-called "aPodments"—a brand name that's used to describe developments that contain numerous small housing units surrounding a central kitchen and living area.
However, we also hear that Rasmussen doesn't have the votes to pass a moratorium, which would require "emergency" legislation—and a 7–2 council majority. Late Friday, Rasmussen, who believes the city "needs to develop regulations pretty quickly," also told us that his colleagues were still "thinking it through."
This afternoon, we also talked to council member Sally Bagshaw, though, who supports aPodments, but says she'd like to make sure neighborhood residents are informed when one is about to be built.
Our One (OK, two) Questions for Sally Bagshaw: What do you think of aPodments, and would you support a moratorium on them until the city can figure out better regulations?
I think they're terrific. I've been in and visited them and met with people who are living in them.
The concerns from the neighbors are that there are ways to get completely around design review. That's what I think is really important; that's what people are complaining about—all of a sudden you have something going in and they don't have an opportunity to meet the developer.
I looked at some up on Capitol Hill, and they were much nicer than any dorm room I ever had. It was brand-new construction. It was nice. It's definitely small, maybe 250 or 300 square feet, but the one I went into had a little loft area for sleeping, a dorm-size refrigerator, a microwave, a bathroom with a shower, bookshelves, and a closet for storage. You don't have to have a car—it's right on a bus line—and there was a big kitchen on the first floor. The manager of the building sent in a commercial cleanup company once a week.
If you didn't have a lot of stuff, and you didn't have a lot of money, it would be a great place to be.We've already talked to Rasmussen, who's considering the moratorium; council land use committee Chair Conlin, a firm no; and Mayor McGinn, who equivocated. And Mike O'Brien is reportedly against a moratorium.