Sunday, September 20, 2015

Micro Apartments- Revenge of "Socks"


Time to re think the micro apartment idea.

Editor's Note: In Marin County the new standard for micro apartments is 220 square feet or roughly the size of a one car parking spot.  See Can we build cities out of apartments the size of a parking space?

I remember in my college days, there was a guy in the dormitory that we called, "Socks".  He was so named because his room stank of dirty socks.    His personal hygiene was less than optimal and his diet consisted of Domino Pizzas and beer. Though he was friendly, he lived alone because no one could stand to live with him.  He never dated.  His room was the standard size but "Socks" room seemed impossibly small and cramped. 

When I see articles about "micro apartments",  I often think of "Socks".  How would you like to move in to your expensive eco-friendly apartment only to find "Socks" as your next door neighbor? Even if you were a ultra neat, germaphobe,  your next door neighbor, "Socks" would foul your air, imposing his slovenliness into your life.

No micro apartments for me, thank you.  I will deal with the longer commutes and enjoy a little sunshine.  My Prius gets me to work just fine with less hassle and faster than a bus.

Now, fresh from the hearing on Public Nudity,  the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are considering a 150 square foot minimum apartment size.  They are capping occupancy to two people per apartment.

Sounds like an interesting way to get rich.  Subdivide small apartments into tiny micro apartments. Furnish with Ikea cabinets, granite countertops, sleek european style fixtures and a flatscreen and murphy bed and Voila! Triple your money.

Not good public policy, though.  More people in smaller places mean more stress on the public infrastructure-water, sewer, police, fire, traffic, garbage. More people=more pollution.
Patrick Kennedy in the living area of his SmartSpace apartment, the sofa turns into a bed. Developer Patrick Kennedy has built a prototype micro-apartment in a Berkeley storage warehouse.  Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle / SF


More photos and story  SF Supervisors Back Micro Apartments




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