Mike Eliason

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Mike is a certified passivhaus designer, energy geek, and design nerd with an almost fetishistic interest in prefab wood buildings, low-energy architecture, social housing, and all things German. He has lived in Fremont for over a decade, and wants Seattle to become a greater version of Freiburg so his wife doesn’t force him to return to live in Vauban. He’s also begun the process of forming a baugruppe.
Seattle’s urban villages suffer not only from inadequate space to build multifamily housing, but there is also a massive open space inequity versus-single family zoning. In large part, this is intentional. The neighborhood planning process was largely co-opted by homeowners who gerrymandered themselves out of urban villages. Some 96%...
On Wednesday, Mayor Jenny Durkan reaffirmed Seattle’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, and unveiled the climate mitigation plan, Seattle Climate Action. She promised to make, ‘meaningful changes’ on building efficiency and transportation emissions. A few startling facts stood out in the report: one-eighth of our carbon emissions are from...
Allowing multi-family housing in all residential zones, and aggressively promoting private bidding lowers housing costs. Part II: Zoning and Development in Vienna Previously, I discussed demographic and funding allocations of social housing in Vienna, compared to Seattle. (See Part I of this series.) This segment will look at the zoning and...
Is Stadt Wien the model for US urban housing policy? Part I: Paying for housing This is a two-part series on housing policy in Vienna and how it could be a model for progressive housing policy in Seattle, where I live, or other American cities struggling with affordable housing. The first...
Do you want to see something sad? According to a slide prepared for a meeting of largely anti-HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) people, the HALA.consider.it site was largely dominated (as of last month) by voices opposing changes that will allow more affordable housing. Do you want to see something awesome?...
Last Wednesday, Councilmember Mike O'Brien hosted a well ­attended Lunch and Learn at Council Chambers featuring a panel of four detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) owners and Nick Welch, a planner for the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD). Welch presented a draft staff report on removing barriers to backyard cottages. (For background...
Since the release of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Committee recommendations, there has been much speculation on what diversifying the single-family zones means, and if duplexes and triplexes are, 'too much'.  I don't think even this nominal increase in density will do much to reduce the 'economic...
Last week, amid much histrionics, The Seattle Times leaked a draft report of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Committee. Owen chimed in on the absurd Time article in the week while I shared my take on the recommendations and Scott added some in depth context and analysis.Today, the final HALA...