Not Even Barely Legal takes a whimsical look at the potential of interstitial space in the face of a housing crisis, with a population resistant to change (affectionately called the "Seattle Process"). Part paper architecture, part prose, part activism, NEBL tells a visual narrative of unconventionally shattering our classist and unsustainable exclusionary zoning practices.

Not Even Barely Legal pretends that what we have now remains the same: no rezones, no code reforms, no levies, no income tax, nada mas. What does that mean? It means we got to get desperately creative.

The following fictitious developments take place in Seattle, Washington. All of them are 100% illegal to build, but 100% awesome to live in... if that floats your boat, of course. Brought to you the equally fictitious Infill Development & Small Parcel Club (lovingly known as the "Snug Club.")


The Urbanist


Out of Sight (2017)

the lot.jpg

Condition: Surface Parking Lot

If each house (a "dwelling unit") requires at least one discreet parking space, why not just develop on the darned things?

On the sidewalk, garages greet you first. Carved into the landscape, a lonely concrete storage box cracks under sun and rain. Sure, it’s within the setback, grandfathered nonconformity in all its illegal splendor, but why can’t life legally occur within them too?

the alley.jpg

Condition: Residential Alley

An alley is a slice of the specimen, a walk through the entrails of a warm but open beast: one-car sheds, gravel parking, a gathering of dumpsters, back entrances, gardens and yards, the shortcut to your destination. Thanks to setbacks, adjacent rear yards create a void. Perfect for additional housing.

Likened to Maunsell Forts over the sea, these friendly giants arch over alleyways, accessible by spiral staircases and breezeways, with more than enough clearance for service trucks below. A drag from your joint as thin watertower shadows gently cover the neighborhood amid sunset. Tower spacing is a mus