City of Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Council Candidates Address Affordable Housing

Want to know how the Bainbridge City Council candidates stand on the topic of affordable housing? The Kitsap Sun‘s City Council election guide features the candidates’ answers to six topics, one of which is affordable housing.

Here is how the candidates responded:

North Ward

Joe Deets: “Deets said he’d like to see the city develop code standards that encourage the building of affordable small to mid-sized homes that can be put on existing lots and find ways to exempt affordable housing projects from impact and other fees when they’re being established.

“Deets said he’d like to see the city take action on the issue in the first part of 2018.”

Kevin Fetterly: “Fetterly said he’d like to see the city find a way to force developers to include affordable units in housing projects on the island, but said he’d like to see developers get density bonuses as a part of that requirement.

“He’d also like to see the city work with groups like Housing Resources Bainbridge to convert surplus and donated properties that the city owns into sites for affordable housing.”

Central Ward

Rasham Nassar: “Nassar said she’d like to start by looking at changes to the city’s Housing Design Demonstration Projects ordinance, which provides density bonuses to developers in exchange for choosing between green or affordable elements for housing projects. The ordinance isn’t encouraging developers to choose affordable housing building options, she said.

“She’d also like to see the city use some sort of inclusionary zoning to mandate that developers add affordable housing when building in the Winslow core or pay into an affordable housing fund the city would manage.

“Other ideas she’d consider include code updates that would allow for tiny homes and micro-apartments, she said.”

Wayne Roth: “Roth said he’d support finding ways to use the city’s zoning authority to push for affordable housing on the island. Additionally, he’d like to see ways to use city-owned property as a site for affordable housing, similar to what has been proposed at the city’s Suzuki property, he said.

“Beyond those ideas, he’d support ideas generated by the experts in the city’s Affordable Housing Task Force and what they feel is best, he said.”

South Ward

Ted Jones: “Jones said he’d support removing code restrictions on accessory dwelling units and adding zoning requirements that would force developers to build a percentage of affordable units in housing developments.

“‘The developers are going to come, they’re still going to build that for us,’ he said.

“He’d also support getting rid of the city’s HDDP ordinance. Developers are only choosing the green column, and so the program hasn’t been effective, he said.”

Matt Tirman: “Tirman said he’d be in favor of passing a multifamily property tax exemption on the island. The idea, he said, would give developers a 12-year tax exemption on a housing project in exchange for preserving the rents for some of the units at lower rates.

“He also is in favor of some kind of inclusionary zoning, which would force developers to include affordable units alongside market-rate units in a housing project, as well as relaxing code restrictions on accessory dwelling units.”

Read the entire article here.