On Thursday, Jan. 21, our Association provided comments to the Woodinville Planning Commission as they began reviewing updated code language regarding utility undergrounding. The draft language raised questions amongst commission members who seemed to doubt whether this update would address the underlying problems, which city staff acknowledge have been caused by the undergrounding requirement.
Snohomish County has released a proposed update to its critical areas regulations (CAR) and will brief the County Planning Commission Jan. 27. The update is a state Growth Management Act requirement and is scheduled to be complete by June 30, 2015. The update is far less extensive in scope than the previous CAR update adopted in 2007.
The Woodinville Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing on proposed changes to the city's utility undergrounding ordinance. We have worked with Puget Sound Energy and builder members to address this cost prohibitive regulation, which requires the undergrounding of all utilities on site.
The Issaquah City Council continues to discuss their updated concurrency plan and impact fee study, as well as hear from your Association. The combined Traffic and Multimodal Impact Fee is $8,600 per single-family unit. The council is expected to adopt the new fee at their Jan. 20 meeting, with an effective date of Feb. 1, 2015. Thanks to strong advocacy by member companies and the Association, approximately 250 single-family homes will pay the current city of Issaquah transportation impact fee of $1,700 per unit.
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.
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!
Guest columnist and renowned economist Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of GraphsandLaughs, LLC, This gives an economic forecast for GDP, employment, inflation and a time-line for Fed action regarding short-term interest rates.