The city adopted a Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) to enable and encourage micro-apartment development by removing barriers to their construction in the Land Use Code (LUC) on June 5, 2023.
On July 5, 2022, in building upon the city's 2017 Affordable Housing Strategy, the City Council prioritized a set of "Next Right Work" items related to the production of additional housing and affordable housing in the city. Three items were prioritized:
- Removing barriers to micro-apartments
- Allow higher FAR (Floor Area Ratio) for residential (or unlimited FAR or Dwelling Units, DUs, per acre)
- Reduce permit fees for affordable housing projects
On Oct. 10, 2022, the council initiated the first of the Next Right Work items, a LUCA to remove barriers to micro-apartments, and has directed the Planning Commission to process the LUCA.
The council held a study session on the LUCA April 24, 2023, directing staff to return with the final ordinance for adoption and to provide further information on the LUCA. At their June 5 meeting, the council adopted the LUCA and directed staff to begin work on adjusting the very small dwelling unit provisions contained within the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) program administered by the city.
The LUCA removes barriers in the LUC to enable and encourage micro-apartments in the city. Micro-apartments were not disallowed by the LUC, however, previous LUC requirements limited the feasibility and development of micro-apartments. This LUCA will reduce these barriers and encourage the production of this housing type.
The LUCA defines micro-apartments within the LUC, requiring that all micro-apartments contain a kitchen and bathroom and are under 320 square feet. Additionally, the LUCA sets a minimum car and bicycle parking requirement, states that micro-apartments are counted as a quarter dwelling unit for density purposes and exempts micro-apartments from the multifamily play area requirements.
The geographic scope of the LUCA is mixed-use areas within a half mile of transit with four or more trips per hour (pink areas on the map above) or a quarter-mile of transit with two to four trips per hour (purple areas on the map above). The geographic scope is intended to encourage micro-apartments in mixed use areas where multifamily housing is already allowed and locations that are proximate to jobs, shopping, daily needs and services.
Project Status and Timeline
The LUCA was initiated by the city council on Oct. 10, 2022, and was adopted June 5 after public outreach, study and recommendation from the planning commission, and final action by the city council.
|Date||Meeting, Event or Action Taken||Links|
|10/10/2022||City Council Study Session and Project Launch||City Council Meeting Agenda Materials|
|1/19/2023||Community Information Meeting||Presentation Materials|
|1/25/2023||Planning Commission Study Session||Planning Commission Meeting Agenda Materials|
|3/8/2023||Planning Commission Public Hearing||Planning Commission Meeting Agenda Materials|
|4/24/2023||City Council Study Session||City Council Meeting Agenda Materials|
|6/5/2023||City Council Approval of LUCA||City Council Meeting Agenda Materials|