MAY 26, 1997
County surplus land to be used for affordable housing
A 22-acre county-owned vacant parcel of land in Woodinville will be developed for affordable housing. King County Executive Ron Sims announced on May 9 a partnership between the county, A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH), and the City of Woodinville that would enable the transfer, design, and sale of the site in the 14300 block of NE 190th St. for the construction of lower income town homes, multifamily, and senior housing.
"Having housing that our residents can afford is essential to keeping our economy strong," said Sims.
The property was bought in 1980 by the King County Solid Waste Division and was surplused in 1995. It will be transferred to the housing and community development program. Design consultants with ARCH will work with Woodinville to develop a master plan for the site, and the property will be sold in the fall.
"We welcome this opportunity to work with the county and ARCH to address local housing needs," said Woodinville Mayor Bob Miller.
Currently, the site has an appraised value of $1.62 million. Of the 22 acres, only half are buildable, according to Jean Carpenter, King County Housing and Human Services Liaison. Woodinville currently zones the area R-8, or eight dwelling units per acre with provisions for a mix of housing types on the land. Carpenter said 11 acres could be used for open space and parks.
Woodinville Planning Director Ray Sturtz said the development would ease the problem of little affordable housing in the area. "We're not going to solve it entirely, but through King County, ARCH and the city, we're going to do a little bit," Sturtz said. He emphasized patience. "This is still very, very early. This is like we've got the dirt and now it's the planning."
King County and Woodinville have taken steps to make the development affordable to low-income seniors and residents who work in the community. King County has set aside $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds; Woodinville has agreed to waive permit fees on affordable housing units; and ARCH has made funds available for feasibility studies.
"This is where government assistance can make a real difference, and the county is excited about making this property available for much-needed housing," King County Councilmember Louise Miller said.