MARCH 10, 1997

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Opinion

Woodinville contributing to buildable land shortage

land shortage The Feb. 17 issue disclosed the startling information that the City of Woodinville is considering calculating units per acre on what's left after subtracting the land needed for development requirements.
   When did we switch from the old rule that density was calculated on gross acreage, including public street right of ways provided by the pertinent site? Granted, some jurisdictions have subtracted for a number of things, including environmentally-sensitive land. But, at least in urban areas, the tide is reversing in order to provide for Growth Management Act requirements to "save" the rural areas.
   Unless maximum buildout for new development is allowed at zoned densities, older neighborhoods with less than what the Growth Management Hearings Boards consider to be suitable urban densities (and three homes/acre density is not considered suitable) could find themselves infilling due to a Hearings Board appeal decision.
   The shortage of "buildable" land is a huge state concern now, as the restricted supply of urban land threatens the Growth Management Act's goals of affordable housing and economic growth. The City of Woodinville appears to be contributing to the buildable land shortage.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville