In a project-specific Superior Court decision issued August 13, 2014, a judge ruled that individual bedrooms having private bathrooms and food preparation areas within them were configured for use as separate dwelling units, and must be regulated accordingly. In light of the court’s reasoning, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has re-examined other similar projects currently under review. DPD has concluded that the individual rooms within any proposed development having an identical or substantially similar arrangement also must be regulated as separate dwelling units. Environmental (SEPA) and Design Review thresholds will be calculated based on the number of rooms so configured.
On September 2 the City Council introduced new legislation (Council Bill 118201) to clarify permanent regulation of micro-housing, congregate residences, and similar forms of development. The City Council’s proposal reflects input from three stakeholder working group meetings held during the summer of 2014. After the new regulations are voted on by Council, all future developments will have to meet the new rules.