The City has initiated 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 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) within the form/height limits
- Reduce permit fees for affordable housing projects
On October 10, 2022, the City 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.
Micro-apartments are typically 200-400 square feet in size and include a living/bedroom area, bathroom and kitchen. These apartments appeal to students, young professionals, people just moving to Bellevue and individuals without children. Consistent with the 2017 AHS, micro-apartments provide more housing choices in Bellevue and an opportunity to diversify the city's housing stock. Additionally, micro-apartments create lower cost units due to their small size.
What is Happening Now?
The Planning Commission will begin consideration of this proposed LUCA on December 14. The Planning Commission is then anticipated to hold a public hearing in early 2023.
The proposed LUCA will remove barriers in the LUC to enable and encourage micro-apartments in the city. Micro-apartments are not disallowed by the LUC. However, current LUC requirements for parking, density and amenities (e.g. multi-family play areas) can limit the feasibility and development of micro-apartments. This LUCA will explore options to reduce these barriers and encourage the production of this housing type.
Proposed Geographic Scope
The City Council has requested that the Planning Commission make a recommendation on the potential geographic scope. At this time, the proposed geographic scope includes all mixed-use land use districts in the city that allow for both multifamily residential and commercial development (as shown in the pink area of the map). 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 October 10 and is anticipated to be completed in Q2 of 2023 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 Agenda Materials|
|12/14/2022||Planning Commission Study Session|
Upcoming Opportunities to Engage
The Planning Commission will consider this LUCA in Study Session on December 14, and is tentatively scheduled to hold a public hearing in the first quarter of 2023. Oral and written comments may be submitted to the Planning Commission on or before these dates.
Questions, comments and feedback can be provided at any time to Mathieu Menard, Senior Planner with Development Services (425-452-5264 or firstname.lastname@example.org).