Category: Seattle

Zoning’s invisible corset

24 May, 2012 (10:29) | Architecture, Housing, Land use, Regulation, Seattle, Zoning |

By: David A. Smith   Though zoning is destiny, it wears a tight corset, the squeezing into which can lead to contorted inventiveness, as shown in this cheerful little mis-titled Wall Street Journal story:   Building Outside the Box   Actually, Mr. Agarwala and his architect were at pains to build inside the box – […]

The upscale backyard shack: Part 3, now for the naysayers

23 July, 2010 (10:35) | Housing, Innovations, Markets, Rental, Seattle, Tenure, US News |

[Concluded from yesterday’s Part 2 and the preceding Part 1.]   By: David A. Smith   After two days examining the tasty delights of fast-sprouting affordable via backyard apartments, cheerfully profiled in a USA Today, it’s time to hear from those who think such apartments, tenures like shared-bathroom group houses, in-law apartments, rooming houses, and […]

The upscale backyard shack: Part 2, sprouting mushrooms

22 July, 2010 (16:32) | Housing, Informal, Innovations, Markets, Rental, Seattle, Tenure, US News |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]    By: David A. Smith   Yesterday’s post, sprouting like a fistful of mushrooms from a little USA Today story about backyard rental apartments being built (with permission) in eco-friendly Seattle –   Give them the right zoning and they sprout overnight   – observed first that new tenures and […]

The upscale backyard shack: Part 1, grass-roots densification

21 July, 2010 (14:25) | Housing, Informal, Innovations, Markets, Rental, Seattle, Tenure, US News |

By: David A. Smith    Because both evolution and capitalism fill empty spaces, ecosystems become more robust as they diversify species – and when a need is unmet, the markets will find it – via shared-bathroom group houses, in-law apartments, rooming houses, urban micro-housing, or something else.  That’s the powerful (and to my mind hopeful) […]