City Council to vote on Mayor’s Emergency Housing changes
Faced with being some 25-thousand housing units short, the Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward’s Housing Task Force has made a series of recommendations to help set the city on a path towards more available housing. The City Council is set to vote on these measures on Monday, July 18th. Council member Michael Cathcart told the committee “this is a great first step towards us solving our housing crisis.”
The recommendations include:
- Remove or relax site coverage standards in order to make townhomes, duplexes,
triplexes, and fourplexes viable. The current standards are too limiting, and concerns
about stormwater impacts can be addressed by adhering to the standards in the Spokane Regional Stormwater Manual, which is already applied to most new development in the City.
- Clarify that the existing density maximum of 10 units per acre in the RSF zone has been pre-empted by this ordinance. The intent of the ordinance appears to be allowing more units than the current code envisions, but the draft code must clarify this to provide
certainty to developers.
- Reconfigure the current standard in City code that requires all new development to have frontage on a public street. This requirement limits development and should be reconsidered to make development easier on smaller sites.
- Increase height limits, especially for townhomes. The current limit of 25 feet for walls and 35 feet for roof peaks limits the viability of townhomes and virtually eliminates the option for green roofs or rooftop patios. Height limits should be increased to 40 feet for roof peaks, with a commensurate increase in wall heights.
- Remove floor area ratio (FAR) as a development constraint. FAR is another layer of regulation that further constrains the ability for developers to make projects financially viable. Controls on building bulk and density area already achieved through setbacks and building heights.
- Increase height limits and reconfigure development standards in other zones beyond RSF. Standards outside of the RSF zone are also limiting for new development.
Interested parties are encouraged to testify either in person or online
Testimony sign up is open from 5:00-6:00 p.m. on Monday, July 18, 2022. You must sign up by 6:00
p.m. to be called on to testify. Sign up forms will be available outside of Council Chambers for in-person
Those wishing to give testimony virtually can sign up between 5:00-6:00 p.m.
City of Spokane passes three key zoning changes to increase housing
The Spokane City Council has passed a series of initial steps to begin the process of adding more housing to the Spokane area. Recent census numbers confirm.
In this first phase, council members agreed to:
- Adding in Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in most areas of the city
- Agreed to reduce requirements on developments under 20 homes
- Eliminate “transition zones” from city code
During a Lunch and Learn hosted by the Spokane Association of REALTORS(R) – agents were given a detailed look at the housing numbers that are driving these changes.
You can see this presentation here: