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Small-Lot and Microhousing Changes Discussed at Seattle Council Hearing

Last Friday, April 18, the Seattle City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee held a public hearing on small-lot legislation and a briefing on proposed changes to microhousing. Unfortunately the Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) small-lot legislation makes the code more confusing and would have the unintended consequence of preventing existing single-family residents from adding on to their homes.

 

Enumclaw Consolidates Development Standards and Adopts Zero-Lot-Line Ordinance

On Monday, April 14, the Enumclaw City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that implements three significant changes: (1) setbacks will be measured from the property line to the foundation of the house, as opposed to the eves; (2) the zoning code will be consolidated into one new chapter for the purpose of streamlined predictability, Chapter 18.06; and (3) fee simple ownership of land in the R-4 multifamily zone is allowed under the zero-lot-line ordinance if and home owners association is established to enforce the agreement.

 

Everett Fee-Simple Hearing Set for This Week

Your Association's proposed fee simple, unit-lot subdivision measure is scheduled for a public hearing and possible action at the Everett City Council on Wednesday, April 23. This measure will apply to existing attached and detached condominium projects as well as new attached townhomes in multifamily zones, allowing for fee-simple ownership versus condominium ownership.

 

Association Tackles Onerous Fees in Newcastle

On Tuesday, April 15, the Newcastle City Council received a report from a consultant hired to perform a transportation impact fee study. The city's transportation impact fees have not been updated in a decade, and the study was put off during the recession years. The fees proposed in the study would equate to $18,930 per single-family home.

 

Washington State Supreme Court Validates Washington's Vesting Laws by a 6-3 Vote

On April 10, the Washington Supreme Court filed its decision in the Town of Woodway and Save Richmond Beach Inc. vs. Snohomish County and BSRE-Point Wells, validating the longstanding strength of the state's vesting laws.

 

Snohomish County Tree Measure Advances

Snohomish County’s proposed ordinance that would rewrite its regulations on tree retention and replacement was passed out of the county’s Planning Commission with no recommendation. Importantly, the proposal will now head to the county council for consideration after some refinements by Planning and Development Services (PDS).

 

Your Association Holds Quarterly Round-Table with the City of Auburn

On Tuesday, April 8, The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBA) held the first ever Quarterly Round-Table meeting with the city of Auburn at Auburn City Hall. The Round-Table meetings are chaired by Councilmember John Holman and provide a forum for early and informed discussions on issues that affect our industry. Councilmember Wayne Osborne also joined the discussion with Jeff Tate, Keven Snyder, and many MBA members.

 

Smart Growth Seattle Hires Roger Valdez as its Full-Time Director

Smart Growth Seattle today announced that Roger Valdez will be the full time director of the organization. It has also expanded its partnership to include the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties and others.

 

Association Releases Report Highlighting Permit Survey Results

Earlier this year, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBA) conducted a survey of its members to help gauge their opinions about the permit process in the two-county area. The survey was intended to help increase the Association’s understanding of how local governments are doing with permitting based on members’ experiences with actual projects. The results of this survey indicate there is room for improvement in all aspects of the permit process across most jurisdictions in King and Snohomish counties.

 

Receive Up to $13,500 Back With L&I's Stay at Work Program

Labor & Industries' (L&I) "Stay at Work" program s a new financial incentive program that encourages employers to bring their injured workers quickly and safely back to light-duty or transitional work by reimbursing them for a portion of their costs. Your association recently had a Group Retrospective Insurance Program (GRIP) participant who received the full $10,000 reimbursement, so you will want to check this out!

 

House-Hold Spending (Eisenberg, April 2014)

Guest columnist and renowned economist Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of GraphsandLaughs, LLC, explains why a growing divide between the wealthy and middle and lower classes exists, and why household spending has been growing slower than hoped.