Saturday, April 28, 2007

Snohomish County 'Air Condos' Debated

Snohomish County 'Air Condos' have become popular with developers and residents, but many city government and fire department officials warn they are an accident waiting to happen.

'Air Condos' are single-family residences built as condos. The homes are not connected and owners only own from the walls in. The exterior, grounds and roads are all common areas, owned and managed by the association. This type of housing is also referred to as Low Density Multiple Residential.

Developers like them because they allow for higher density and lower prices. Buyers like them because they are affordable and cut down on yard maintenance for busy families, while still having the feel of a single family home.

So, what is the problem. First safety. The buildings are so close together and the yards so small there is no place for children to play. Many of these homes are only 10 feet apart and most of these communities don't have common play areas. There are no sidewalks, so that leaves the street for kids to play.

Fire safety is a concern because the houses are so close together a fire truck could not get a ladder to a third story window and there are no sprinkler systems. Because the streets are privately owned, they did not have to be built 24 feet wide, which would allow for a fire truck and parking on one side. In addition, driveways are so short, residents often park in fire lanes. Parking regulations are not enforced because the roads are private.

As always there are two sides to this issue. Read the full story and let me know what you think.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home