Looking at ways to bring affordable housing to Whidbey

New government regulations adding to costs

Streamlining permit reviews and reducing fees for qualified housing projects are some steps being considered to bring more affordable housing to Whidbey Island.

A 30-member Affordable Housing Task Force discussed ideas recently during a Council of Governments special session.

Oak Harbor City Councilman Rick Almberg explained how delays in reviewing permits for proposed construction by local governments often drives up costs. Additionally, meeting some state and federal requirements that are not pertinent to local conditions yet must still be followed add to expenses, he said.

One such “onerous” regulation, Almberg noted, is the state’s stormwater requirements for Western Washington, regardless of local rainfall patterns. The regulations are designed, in part, for flood control and environmental protection.

“The net effect of this policy will likely result in a $30,000 increased cost to each single family residence,” Almberg said. Negotiating more cost-effective alternatives that are still environmentally sound might be a possibility.

Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson also said theres been many lengthy discussions on the impact of regulations.

“Many of the environmental protections that we value are directly linked to driving up housing costs, so we are exploring the balance between the two needs,” she said.

More in News

Roll the dice for charity at bunco event

Guild 21 of Providence General Children’s Association is hosting its 14th annual… Continue reading

Community weaves together fundraiser after fiber theft

In late February, Lydia Christiansen and her husband Alan woke up to… Continue reading

Navy extends comment period on special ops training

The area where the Navy conducts special operations training may be expanded… Continue reading

School violence topic of public forum

Students to lead discussion at WICA talk

Beyond the classroom

Waldorf students match with mentors for life lessons

Teenager sentenced for house fire

A teenager who accidentally started a fire that destroyed a Honeymoon Bay… Continue reading

Port gets $500k for parking lot in Mukilteo

Curt Gordon’s decade-long mission to build a parking lot is finally getting… Continue reading

Goat University not kidding around

Covering goats from head to tail

Ignacio Rivera appears in Island County Superior Court.
Man accused of biting off part of victim’s ear

A South Whidbey love triangle led to “a brutal beating” in which… Continue reading

Most Read