But I'd like to zoom in on the most contentious portion of the evening: When the aPodment skeptics in the audience started heckling the moderator, Q13 Fox's C.R. Douglas, yelling out that aPodment housing would gobble up residential parking.Because of the way aPodments work—up to eight people per residential unit—the total number of potential parking permits per unit is fewer, not more.
The concern: Since micro-housing dramatically increases the standard number of people moving into multi-family housing zones (eight per residential "unit," defined in the aPodment equation as a single floor with multiple micro-units surrounding a single communal kitchen vs. one or two per standard residential unit), the number of residential parking permits will make parking completely inaccessible because tenants in residential zones are traditionally allowed to buy up to five parking permits (at $64 a permit).
I checked with the city today, and it actually turns out that traditional apartments potentially use up more parking spaces than aPodments. Here's why: Parking permits are issued per residential unit, not per person. And because of the way aPodments work—up to eight people per residential unit—the total number of potential parking permits per unit is fewer, not more.
For example, while a floor of a traditional apartment building is divvied up into say eight single residential units, which would equal 40 potential parking permits, an apodment with its eight people per one carved up residential unit floor would equal just five parking permits.
Neighbors who are concerned that increased density will decrease available parking should prefer aPodments to traditional apartments because as multi-family zones try to deal with increased growth, aPodments would scale back the number of potential parking permits.
The Seattle Department of Transportation and the Department of Planning and Development are revisiting the current parking permit rules for aPodments. My hope is that the city will understand that aPodment developmet aligns with the same low-carbon philosophy they've embraced elsewhere, such as getting rid of parking minimums in urban villages.