Council getting closer on Ord. 532

  • Written by Don Mann
After seven previous discussions, two moratoriums and more mathematical minutiae than you could shake a stick at, the Woodinville City Council passed first reading of Ordinance No. 532 regarding residential density regulations and minimum lot sizes for single-family residential subdivisions.

The vote was 6-1, with Councilmember Les Rubstello opposed.

For those of you not paying attention, it’s a development thing and it has everything to do with preventing unwanted density in neighborhoods, particularly R-1 neighborhoods.

The city is required by the Growth Management Act (GMA) to provide  for 2,200 more dwelling units by 2031.

At its September 18 meeting, the council received a supplemental report from an outside consultant which addressed proposals to modify minimum lot widths, increase minimum lot size in the R-1 zone when critical areas are present and establish regulations which close loopholes that currently allow lot consolidation by developers seeking to achieve greater unit development yields from consolidating unbuildable critical areas.

The pressing issue Tuesday appeared to be choosing one of three critical areas regulations options proposed by the consultant and endorsed by staff.

Ultimately an amendment by Councilmember Paulette Bauman to maintain critical area transfer regulations as currently written in city code but increase minimum lot sizes in R-1 zones from 16,700 square feet to 31,000 square feet was passed unanimously.

Earlier, an amendment by Councilmember Liz Aspen to calculate allowable dwelling units on a parcel by “rounding up” versus “rounding down” (i.e: a property owner with 1.5 acres can build two units) was passed 4-3 with Mayor Bernie Talmas, Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders and Councilmember Art Pregler opposed. Ostensibly the decision repealed a recent amendment to “round down,” changing the code back to where it was previously.

Currently there are two moratoriums in effect that restrict single-family subdivisions. To avoid extending those moratoriums further, the council needs to take final action on Ordinance No. 532 no later than October 16, 2012.

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