City council to consider zoning for multi-family use

The Langley City Council is scheduled Monday to review proposed zoning ordinance changes that could usher in multi-family units to help with the lack of affordable housing for restaurant, hotel and other workers of the city’s service economy.

The Planning Advisory Board will present recommendations and community comments related to converting two areas within the city from single-family homes to mixed residential use. The change would permit construction of approved structures, such as townhouses, duplexes or multi-unit apartments or allow smaller home sites.

“We have very limited options,” said Planning Director Brigid Reynolds.

One proposed area for rezoning is at the west entrance to Langley across from St. Hubert’s Catholic Church. With a backdrop of grazing sheep and rolling fields, it has had a large Habitat for Humanity sign posted for two years depicting a proposed two-story structure of multiple-family townhouses.

“It’s a conceptual image,” Reynolds said. “It still has to go through other processes.”

Gary Wray, on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Island County, commented at a planning advisory public hearing earlier this month that a housing crisis exists throughout Island County, but it’s particularly bad in Langley because of the high proportion of short-term vacation homes.

Under the city’s comprehensive plan, adopted one year ago, city planners began working to reduce barriers to encourage construction of new housing aimed at renters who are unable to afford current housing options.

Some Langley residents have expressed opposition to changing the zoning ordinance for numerous reasons while others have supported it.

— The Langley City Council meets 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 15 at City Hall.

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