Monday, September 8, 2008

CORA Townhouse Presentation 2.0

Mayor Nickels new version of the multi-family update caught our group quite by surprise. Up to this point, we had gradually come to the conclusion that the MFU, while well intended, was both insufficiently flexible while at the same time seeming open to potential abuse. When the Mayor modified the proposal and added the requirement of mandatory design review for all multi-family projects, our group a did a quick about face & decided to return to our original direction: Educating the public about the MFU and showing examples of better housing archetypes that would be enabled by a more flexible code.

Mandatory design review for all multi-family projects is a major step forward. It promises the flexibility to provide diverse, thoughtful design solutions while making it more difficult to produce the kind of indifferent housing that has become the norm under the current code. That said, the details of the code changes merit further public discussion and debate. Toward that end, we have put together a presentation about the new code and what it means for multi-family housing in Seattle, including

· What’s wrong with the current code?
· Summary of major proposed changes to the code & explanation of some of the new terms & processes.
· Examples of multi-family projects designed by CORA members that demonstrate new, better housing models that will be enabled by the new code.

We see this presentation as a starting point for discussion with others who are concerned about developing better housing options for Seattle. As architects, we feel we can be most helpful by illustrating the what the new (273 page) code means and providing concrete examples of the kind of housing it could enable if done right.

We have put out an open invitation to all community councils & neighborhood groups that we will be happy to come present & lead a discussion for anyone that wants us. Some presentations coming up:

Central Area Neighborhood Plan Stewardship - Sept 4, 6pm - Garfield Community Center.

Ballard District Council - Wednesday, September 10, 7pm - Ballard Library.

Greater Madison Valley Community Council - September 17, 7:30pm. Bush School

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