Comment to Planners: Meeting Housing Allocations

Alternative 2 of the Proposed Comprehensive Plan will more than meet the population allocations. However, the County is proposing expansions of Urban Growth Areas to meet the housing allocations for different income levels. But to provide additional affordable housing, the County needs to encourage redevelopment and in-fill in existing urban areas rather than expand those areas. To encourage this happening, the County can take a number of steps including changing the zoning limitations to allow for higher density, relaxing requirements for such things as parking, setbacks, lot coverage and height limits. They could also reduce permit costs and speed permit review. Improved transit availability can reduce the need for parking. With good design, there is a market for these developments from everyone, from seniors wanting to downsize to young adults trying to buy their first house. These may not be the large single-family developments done by national companies but rather smaller ones done by local or regional companies, supporting our local economy with jobs and income while protecting our environment – one of the major reasons people want to live here in the first place. Examples are some developments near Bend and Albany, Oregon, built by Hayden, a northwest developer, that are built small, under 1,000 square feet.

Martha, Kitsap County