12:27:13 Micro-Apartments

What's a micro-apartment? Well, a boarded-up bungalow sits on a lot in the Hollywood District of Portland. It will soon keep an appointment with a bulldozer. If you take a 5,000 square-foot lot and build a four-story building on it, plus a basement floor, and divide it up 56 ways, you get micro-sized living spaces.

The Seattle-based developer (whose outsider status partly fuels the project's pariahness) structured the project as "group living" and provides one communal kitchen on each floor. Purportedly, each unit still gets a "closet kitchen": small sink, microwave, pocket fridge. Of course, no car parking for tenants on the property and legally as many as two persons per unit. The predictable war cry of opponents is, No parking, 112 tenants, no way!

[NIMBY sign]

This micro-apartment project is on a street of some four bungalows, once residences, now converted to professional offices (to wit, attorneys and a pregnancy counseling center). Any residential zoning lapsed eons ago. In fact, across the street a Trader Joe's, an expansive parking lot, constant street traffic make this street a veritable hot spot in the Hollywood District. And, oh yes, four blocks away is a fourteen-story tower of apartments that is mostly subsidized housing for the disabled, elderly, and lower-income folks.

At first glance, the anti-micro-apartment activists seem to have a case. But the more I thought about the stakes, the City's goal of encouraging urban density to counteract sprawl, the faster I concluded these activists are garden-variety NIMBY sorts that only want things the way they are.

Yes, hysterical ninnies of the same stripe that protested (and defeated) a Hollywood District Home Depot and protested (but lost) an "it's the height" fight against a four-story apartment complex housing the second home for the Hollywood Library on its ground floor.

Micro-apartments work elsewhere. I think an unspoken objection is about the future tenants of the micro-apartments. Sure, some Millennials on tight budgets will need a place to sleep, riding a bike, hopping on MAX light rail, going to school at Portland State. But more likely, the prospective tenant of one of the Lilliputian living units is feared to be close to living in his/her car, or in a sleeping bag under a tent on a sidewalk in the City.

This proposed project in the Hollywood District shows some loud mouths need to own up to their classism and welcome the new neighbors with open arms. Micro-apartments answer a need for minimal housing.

Read more ...
(click to enlarge image)

The Cat at Light's End

Read Charlie Dickinson's story collection, The Cat at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable formats:

.mobi (Kindle)
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)

Also, a flash fiction, "Ylena Thinks Nyet," is at Cigale Literary Magazine.

more posts

11:28:13 The Moneyless Man, a book review
11:23:13 The Lost Art of Walking, a book review
11:10:13 The Cultural Revolution Cookbook, a book review
10:23:13 The Biker Angel
10:11:13 No Self-Serve Gas in Oregon
9:28:13 A Street Cat Named Bob, a book review
9:23:13 The Life & Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, a book review
9:18:13 Autumn Leaves
8:19:13 The Worst Car Driver & Why
8:12:13 The Gardener from Ochakov, a book review
7:25:13 Le Havre by Kaurismaki
7:20:13 This Ain't California
6:27:13 The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, a book review
5:29:13 My Linux (Mis)Adventures
5:25:13 Southern Cross the Dog, a book review
5:5:13 Russian Tumbleweed
4:16:13 "The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster
3:26:13 Camera-rama
3:25:13 Moore's Law
3:13:13 Grocery Shopping 
2:28:13 Razor Blade in Moonlight
1:27:13 Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design, a book review
1:6:13 Alleys
12:9:12 White Bread, a book review
12:4:12 Update on Old-School Shaving
11:12:12 Ten Great Buys at Dollar Tree
11:6:12 My New Russian Camera
10:29:12 Leaf Day
10:2:12 The Russian Navy in New York?
9:21:12 The Righteous Mind, a book review
9:14:12 Revolution, 1989, a book review
8:23:12 Train Whistles in the Night
8:2:12 Why I've Stockpiled Light Bulbs
7:22:12 Old-School Shaving
7:16:12 Злектроника МК-52, computer de minimus
7:4:12 Ivan's Childhood by Tarkovsky
6:21:12 The Unabomber, a modern Thoreau?
6:12:12 Do the gods exist?
6:7:12 My "Retail Therapy"
5:28:12 On Taxes, We Should Go Green
5:17:12 Portland's Trash
5:6:12 The Toaster Project, a book review
4:24:12 No Seconds
4:12:12 Portland's Runaway Utility Bill
4:8:12 The Repossession, a book review
3:30:12 How I Got Published in Mississippi Review
3:18:12 Rothko
3:9:12 The End of Money, a book review
3:1:12 gutenberg.org
2:18:12 Beauty Plus Pity, a book review
2:5:12 Kirk's Castile Soap
1:29:12 Confessions of a Fallen Standard-Bearer, a book review
1:22:12 Thirst, a book review
1:17:12 My IBM ThinkPad 1999-2012
1:11:12 String Beans
12:22:11 Spiritual TMJ
12:16:11 1Q84, a book review
12:11:11 How Portland Became Portlandia
12:1:11 The Fixie
11:20:11 Camus' Insight
11:13:11 Old & Worthy
11:7:11 Life Is Tragic
10:31:11 A Matter of Death and Life, a book review
10:25:11 Dead Letter, Email Fatigue
10:18:11 Reinventing Collapse, a book review
10:11:11 Rereading Pirsig
10:1:11 The Sisters Brothers, a book review
9:26:11 The Great Stagnation, a book review
9:16:11 Coffee, The Affordable Luxury
9:12:11 The Genius of Value
9:5:11 Death and the Penguin, a book review