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 Bellevue 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 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 held a public hearing on March 8 and recommended approval of the LUCA to the city council. The council held a study session on April 24 and will take action on the proposal at a future date.
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. The planning commission has recommended that the geographic scope of the LUCA be 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 October 10 and is anticipated to be completed in Quarter 2 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 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|
|TBD||City Council Action|
Upcoming Opportunities to Engage
The planning commission considered this LUCA in Study Session on January 25, and held a public hearing March 8. The council held a study session on April 24. Council will take action at a future date, oral and written comments may be submitted prior to council action.
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).