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This information is being provided to raise awareness for the housing industry and to demonstrate our commitment to what we believe will be a valuable community asset.

CityCHORD.com

Site last updated: January 9, 2012

 

WELCOME to City CHORD’s Website!  This website is administered by city citizens that support choice single family residential housing in the City of Woodinville.  Choice housing is an important issue and a vital element for a successful and vibrant city.  We encourage any comments and involvement to help better define our vision and mission, and move our interests forward.   Please refer to the Contact Info Tab for our contact information. Thank you for stopping by, we hope you found something useful or interesting!

 

 

//Moving Forward


Woodinville Proceeding with Comprehensive Plan Update Process

In 2012, the City of Woodinville will continue work on updating the Comprehensive Plan as required by cities that plan under the Growth Management Act.    The final update is not due until December 2014, but there is much work to do prior to City Council approval of an ordinance to adopt the update.  According to the Development Services’ Draft Work Plan and Schedule (reference the 21 July 2010 Report to the Planning Commission), the focus in 2012 will be for the Planning Commission to “review opportunities and changed conditions relevant to the City vision” and to help “determine how the City can take advantage of economic forecasts…and development trends to accomplish the City’s vision”.

 

The City vision is to concentrate housing in the downtown area which will be in the form of multifamily residences. The City vision keeps the single family residential housing element at its status quo. That is to say, there is nothing new in the vision to help promote single family housing and get this industry back on its feet. In effect, the City vision will continue to offer limited housing choice within the city. Since 2002, only three choices have been offered: Multifamily, R1 (one house per acre) and R8 (eight homes per acre). Refer to the Housing Data Tab of this website to see why this is so.

 

This is an opportunity lost.  It may be three, four or even more years, but eventually the housing industry will spring back to life.  With respect to single family housing, the City vision blatantly ignores changed economic conditions, completely ignores opening new markets that homeowners would find attractive, completely ignores any new approach to development that would benefit existing homeowners as well as new homeowners.  The City should take advantage of this “down time” and put some effort into revising its zoning codes to allow an alternative to downtown apartments or condos.  Housing choice is good for a city and will help to keep the city vibrant and diversified.  The City Council needs to direct the Planning Commission to review these opportunities.

 

The Urban Land Institute has stated that partnerships between governmental and private entities have been successful in developing properties and revitalizing areas that are stagnant or economically downtrodden.  In a similar manner, the City should promote alternatives to just multifamily housing in the downtown by revising zoning codes.   Some existing homeowners in the R1 zones are willing to develop their property, there are many builders in the area hungry for work; these groups could partner to start an industry that would fill the gap between R1 and R8.  

 

There are many reasons why a new approach to single family housing would work in Woodinville, to name a few:  
 

  1. Builders would offer rock bottom prices to construct a home, they want to be put back to work,
  2. Property owners already own or are paying for the land, creative financing or leasing options should be developed that give the property owners a fair price for use of the land while at the same time keeping prices down for the new homeowner,
  3. The demographic in Woodinville has faired much better than the rest of the nation with respect to job stability,
  4. 10,000 – 20,000 square foot lots (true R4 and R2 respectively) could be integrated nicely into certain R1 areas, without drastically changing neighborhood character. Some might argue it might even make it more attractive in contrast to a checkerboard of all R1 lots; this slight increase in density may make it viable economically to develop, and
  5. Developers will build to the market; there is obviously a need for housing as evidenced by the myriad of multifamily being built and projected population increase, people are choosing multifamily not because they want to, but because that’s all they can afford or it offers them the most flexibility to move where the jobs are; if an option is available to live in a single family home with your own walls and some land,  people would jump at the chance.

 

 

//Editorial


Status of Woodinville’s Single Family Residential Housing


The following data is available from city-data.com regarding housing starts in the area:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is striking about this data is that Woodinville has the most need for local housing based on the daytime population change (getting people to live where they work), but is the worst with respect to building homes.  This needs to change if the city is to prosper in the future!

 

With respect to the status of Woodinville’s SFR housing, one only needs to play back the broken record from 2011’s report (see archives).  Once again, there were zero final occupancy permits issued, negligible activity with respect to short platting, etc., etc.  Woodinville once again has passed up any opportunity to attract new citizens to the area and instead seems to be content with plodding along with the downtown master plan.

 

 

//Calendar

Municipality

Homes built from 2008 to 2010

2010 Permits

Daytime % Population Change

Bothell

280

124

+28.1 %

Kenmore

194

80

-29.0 %

Lake Forest Park

9

6

-39.8 %

Mill Creek

107

44

-18.4 %

Woodinville

5

0

+71.6 %