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December 8, 1997

Local News

Planning Commission mulls Woodinview designs

  by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--The Planning Commission looked over a quartet of possible designs for the Woodinview affordable housing development last Wednesday. Plans produced by David Wright of Bumgardner Architects show clusters of town home, senior and low income housing on the western side of the 22-acre King County surplus property located south of the intersection of N.E. 195th St. and 144th Ave. N.E. in Woodinville. Though the commission didn't vote on approving any one plan, members pointed out features they desired from each design. Most approved the idea of centering a communal open space, while Cherry Jarvis suggested adding a community meeting room.
  
   Wright said he will distill the commission's and other's critiques into a single scheme with final design, building guidelines and scope of work elements for contractors who will build the different types of housing. City, county and A Regional Coalition for Housing officials hope to build between 140 and 150 units at Woodinview. Wright said a 10 percent transit density bonus for having a bus stop within a quarter-mile of the development may add 14 or 15 units to the overall plan. One issue not determined yet is whether the site will have direct road access south to downtown Woodinville. Owners of an undeveloped property in that path have expressed concern with the idea. Betsy Czark, a county housing planner, said building homes and apartments at Woodinview will contribute towards the county-mandated affordable housing targets for the city.
  
   Czark said for Woodinville's target of 1800 new dwelling units, 24 percent of that number should be affordable to a family of three pulling in $39,600 a year (80 percent of the median income in King County), and 17 percent of housing starts should be affordable to 50 to 80 percent of the median income. She said median income for 1997 was $49,600 for a family of three. "We're hoping to make a very attractive housing development which serves the needs of Woodinville and makes everyone happy and pleased to live in," Czark said. Formerly the property was proposed for use as a transfer station and prison.
  
   Wright said he had found the community's reaction to the development "a friendly exchange of ideas-very refreshing." "Many times with low income housing, you run into xenophobia. But so far the folks in Woodinville have realized [whoever lives in Woodinview] will be one of their own," Wright said. Half of the site is undevelopable due to a wetland and may be used for a passive park. Lane Youngblood, city parks director, said that land could go towards meeting open space needs in the area. As part of the city's Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan, the parks commission will look into the best use for the unused portion of the site, she said.