Northwest NEWS

May 17, 1999

Local News

ARCH receives award; Woodinville's plans move forward

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--The American Planning Association's (APA) 1999 HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award was delivered to the City Council by City Manager Pete Rose, at the May 3 City Council meeting.

   The APA award went to ARCH, the consortium of Eastside cities that, with King County, pool resources to provide affordable housing to Eastside residents under the Growth Management Act. ARCH member cities Bellevue, Bothell, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, and Woodinville received duplicate plaques of the award.

   City Council member Barbara Solberg thanked Woodinville Planning Director Ray Sturtz for his role as an ARCH board member.

   "This program is not just for Eastside residents on public assistance," said Sturtz. "Woodinville is a prime example of this area, where the price of property and houses is far beyond the reach of the average wage earner. I wouldn't be able to afford the cost of my own house at today's prices."

   ARCH is an organization unique among the nation's high-priced areas, Sturtz said.

   Mayor Don Brocha said Woodinville's ARCH project could be nominated for another APA award in a year or two. A 20-acre parcel donated by King County will provide 11 acres for condos and apartments, including units for elderly tenants and families. The land lies north of the intersection where the North Bypass meets 144th NE.

   "That land had previously been proposed as sites for a refuse transfer station and a King County jail, both of which met a lot of community disapproval," said Brocha "The County was going to surplus the land, then someone thought of donating it for ARCH use. The City will waive all permit fees to make the project profitable for the builders and still affordable."

   The APA's citation read, "By bringing together eight small communities and a county and forming a unique housing trust, ARCH has been able to do what none of these communities could have done by themselves: increase by more than 1,500 the number of affordable housing units in the eastside of metropolitan Seattle."