Weekly Twitter Digest (Link Roundup) for 2012-01-28

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

18 comments:

  1. 1

    Re: Auto-courts, having once lived through the issues associated with a driveway shared with one other house, I never considered those a good idea. One rude neighbor or guest of a rude neighbor and your driveway is unusable. Add in 6 more neighbors, and it’s almost certain to be unusable.

    That’s one situation where converting a garage into a bedroom might make sense, because that space is very unlikely to be usable as a garage.

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  2. 2
    David Losh says:

    Auto court elimination means more cars parking on the street, more meter people, more parking tickets, side street congestions, and a general lack of neighborhood business. Businesses now have to provide more parking to attract out of area shoppers. It’s a burden on every one, except the city planners who work from a central office.

    Transit, has become the big business of government. It creates jobs, is functionally obsolete, needs constant improvement, and is job security. This is big government at work in favor of developers.

    The auto court building plans should have never been approved. Developers need to be made to create better housing units. Did you read that the town house in Fremont is $479K? Come on, for that kind of money I would expect a functional garage. The city didn’t require that. The city rubber stamped more new construction carp.

    Now we have no parking required. That will be another gift to carp developers.

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  3. 3
    John Bailo says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    I think the apartment complex I live in on Kent East Hill is superior in design to all Seattle apartments and townhomes.

    It interleaves areas of (free parking) with greenspaces, both belts and enclosed courtyards. Those ‘auto courts’ look like sleezey alley ways to me, but taking them away would be even worse.

    People need a certain amount of flat space no matter how you slice it.

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  4. 4

    By David Losh @ 2:

    Auto court elimination means more cars parking on the street, more meter people, more parking tickets, side street congestions, and a general lack of neighborhood business..

    Auto court elimination does not mean the end of requirements for off street parking. Just that style of building, where the space in the middle is nothing but driveway. Or at least that’s my understanding.

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  5. 5
    Ray Pepper says:

    the chick marrying the building will most certainly catch “shingles” if she doesn’t have it already..

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  6. 6
    Basho says:

    “Auto court elimination means more cars parking on the street, more meter people, more parking tickets, side street congestions, and a general lack of neighborhood business. Businesses now have to provide more parking to attract out of area shoppers. It’s a burden on every one, except the city planners who work from a central office.”

    If a business can’t be viable without the city providing it with free parking, I’d rather not subsidize its existence. There seems to be plenty of businesses in Downtown Bellevue despite it having almost no street parking.

    “Transit, has become the big business of government. It creates jobs, is functionally obsolete, needs constant improvement, and is job security. This is big government at work in favor of developers.”

    “The auto court building plans should have never been approved. Developers need to be made to create better housing units. Did you read that the town house in Fremont is $479K? Come on, for that kind of money I would expect a functional garage. The city didn’t require that. The city rubber stamped more new construction carp.”

    I love people like you. Your lack of cognitive dissonance is astounding. In one paragraph, you complain about “big government”, in another you demand the city provide street right-of-way for parking, and in another you ask for the city to regulate development even further. Let’s call a spade a spade. You don’t have any innate respect for the liberties of others. You love “big government”, so long as it does exactly what you want.

    “Now we have no parking required. That will be another gift to carp developers.”

    God forbid we let the free market decide what is built. Why should someone who doesn’t drive, such as my girlfriend, be forced to buy a housing unit with parking?

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  7. 7
    David Losh says:

    RE: Basho @ 6

    I had a business in Ballard while town homes were discussed. Other business owners, and I, attended the meetings religiously because this was the second onslaught of parking requirement reductions.

    Bellevue is a good example. The Bellevue Mall has a garage. That attracts shoppers away from other local businesses, because, as you say, there is no “free” parking. There are plenty of meters, mostly full.

    I drive every day, all day. Why am I forced into an ever shrinking set of parking spots because some “free market” housing developer doesn’t want to provide parking for their own business, which is housing?

    At one meeting a housing developer was claiming an unfair burden because the city was requiring 6 more inches of turn around space than was required by his charts, and graphs. He attended every meeting because these 6 inches meant profit for him.

    It actually started in down town Seattle, where I used to live until I couldn’t afford the tickets any more. City Planners were requested to require fewer, and fewer parking spaces for businesses, and housing units, kind of like Bellevue.

    The kicker is that government does provide transit, at great cost, and inconvenience, to every one. Now why am I paying for your girl friend to ride the bus?

    My solution has been simple, ban cars in down town Seattle, and have a transit system there that is more pedestrian friendly, there was a way to divert through transit by 3rd Avenue, and the bus tunnel. Spend money on neighbor hood parking garages that businesses can contribute to. Have the developers pay a fair share for those parking garages, and have feeder transit lines to urban hubs.

    That was an idea for Northgate which was another set of meetings I sat through for a number of years. The developers always win, because there is a profit to them to sit in every meeting. It’s kind of like politics.

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  8. 8
    Macro Investor says:

    RE: Basho @ 6

    “God forbid we let the free market decide what is built. Why should someone who doesn’t drive, such as my girlfriend, be forced to buy a housing unit with parking?”

    Sorry, Basho — BIG FAIL! Liberty means doing what you want, so long as it doesn’t hurt others. Rarely does something you do on your property, STAY ENTIRELY on your property.

    Loggers clear cut their land, and the streams fill with mud. Everyone down stream loses.

    Burning things or disposing waste ends up in the neighbor’s air or wells.

    …And dense housing with inadequate parking spills that parking onto adjacent streets.

    These examples are all the same — maximizing your own benefit but taking something from others.

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  9. 9
    David Losh says:

    Just to follow up, those garages are not counted as square footage in Real Estate listings. They aren’t considered “finished” living spaces. By doing away with the garage requirement buyers will be paying for that space. It’s another win for developers.

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  10. 10

    RE: David Losh @ 9 – Again, you’re missing the fact that the garage is not necessarily going away. Only the stupid “auto-court.” New designs could have a front facing garage or even a common large garage under all the units.

    Look at the picture from the article of what an auto court looks like.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2012/01/24/2017324548.jpg

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  11. 11

    Here’s a piece on still more litigation over Chinese drywall

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/realestate/2017345617_realdrywall29.html

    Note they say the houses at issue were built or remodeled between 2000 and 2009. For some reason I don’t think the stuff was as common around here as in other parts of the country, which is odd given our location, and how heavy drywall is.

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  12. 12
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    I did look at the picture, and you’ll see the “open” parking places, sans garages. They may be required to do carports at some point, or it could be a feature. The developers have more square footage to charge for. The lot square footage stays the same.

    The other part about this is that you lose the function of the alley as parking. In many cases guests park in the “alley” of the current design.

    Any way you slice it the developers win. It’s another gift.

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  13. 13

    RE: David Losh @ 12 – You’re still assuming they won’t require on-site parking. Nothing in the article suggest that.

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  14. 14
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13

    No, but they will charge for the privledge of having on site parking like they have in down town Seattle. Parking down town is a hot item to have. Joe Diamond was one of those that thought mass transit was a great idea, Martin Selig thought smart developers should provide more parking to attract people.

    The entire push for the town home concept was to provide “affordable” housing by clustering. That concept went out the window in favor of cheap at the price of stand alone housing.

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  15. 15
    Basho says:

    “I drive every day, all day. Why am I forced into an ever shrinking set of parking spots because some “free market” housing developer doesn’t want to provide parking for their own business, which is housing?”

    Your use of a public land is no more legitimate than anyone else’s.

    “The kicker is that government does provide transit, at great cost, and inconvenience, to every one. Now why am I paying for your girl friend to ride the bus?”

    The government provides transit because the people authorized it to do so via referendum, arguably the most democratic source of power in government. Furthermore, while you seem to feel you have some right to street parking, I do not feel I (or anybody else) has any right to transit.

    “Sorry, Basho — BIG FAIL! Liberty means doing what you want, so long as it doesn’t hurt others. Rarely does something you do on your property, STAY ENTIRELY on your property.

    Loggers clear cut their land, and the streams fill with mud. Everyone down stream loses.

    Burning things or disposing waste ends up in the neighbor’s air or wells.

    …And dense housing with inadequate parking spills that parking onto adjacent streets.”

    Your examples are completely irrelevant. The fact that all the street parking on a block is full does not cause any damage to anyone’s private property nor does it endanger anyone’s health.

    “These examples are all the same — maximizing your own benefit but taking something from others.”

    Let me drill this through your head. You do not own the public right of way. You have no inherent right to use any of it. When the public right of way is reassigned or limited, nothing is “taken” from anyone.

    A simple example easily explains the difference between public property and private property. Say you own some property next to a piece of property under development. The developer wants to stage equipment and material on your property during construction. In order for the developer to have the right use your property, you must agree to it. Generally the way he secures your agreement is by providing you with compensation. Now say, the developer wants to use the area on the street where you park your car to stage equipment and material. In order for the developer to have the right to use the street, the city must agree to it. And if the city agrees to let the developer use the street you are entitled to nothing.

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  16. 16
    whatsmyname says:

    Check out the money saving mom thing, and just buy your house for cash. It’s easy. All you need is a successful business and a law practice. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it.

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  17. 17
  18. 18

    RE: calvin mccomfrey @ 17 – I’m not sure that entity is even related to our Windermere, but in any case the complaint gives absolutely no detail at all on the claim of negligence.

    That situation (someone dying in a pool of a rented house) does though demonstrate a good reason to use a professional management company if you are going to rent out property. Although that Windermere is cross-claiming against the owner, for many of these types of claims it very well might be that they would be primarily responsible. The one I’m thinking of is a local one where a baby died in the fire and the parents successfully sued because they were not given instructions on how to operate and maintain a smoke detector. Where you have professional management, giving them such documents would come down solely on the management company, and having fresh batteries in the detector at the start of the tenancy would likely be their responsibility too.

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