1. Developers DISLIKE the antidensity amendment the city council's land use committee passed this week that would increase the threshold necessary for builders to add one unit in multifamily zones.
The amendment, proposed by council member Tom Rasmussen, and supported by Tim Burgess, Jean Godden, and Nick Licata, prevents developers from subdividing property—regardless of lot size—as way to add an extra unit to their plans.
Developer David Neiman sent an email to council members after the vote urging them to reject the amendment when it comes to full council next month.
Neiman provided an on-the-ground example from one of his own projects to show that the amendment would change his project from one that originally included a mix of prices to one that only pencils out with the top-end prices.
I would like to provide a real world example of how this recently passed amendment (unless removed at full council) would change one of my recently completed projects for the worse.
Marion Green (918 14th Ave) is a recently completed new townhouse development in LR1 zoning. The lot size is 7680 sf. The density limit in LR1 is one unit per 1600 sf of lot area. 7680/1600=4.8 units, which under current rules rounds up to five units. Under the new amendment, this would be rounded down to four units. So, what is so bad about losing one unit? Let’s look at what this rule change does to the sales price of the homes.
EXISTING RULES: Below is a chart of the Marion Green units sizes and actual sales prices. Note: The current density limits in LR1 zoning already produce fairly large, expensive units.
NEW RULES: With the new Amendment Six, this development would be reduced to four units. The floor area and height/bulk/scale remains the same, but gets distributed over one less unit. The result would be something like this:
The effect of the Amendment Six is to change a project that was able to offer a variety of unit sizes ranging in price from $500,000 to $1,000,000, and turn them all into $1,000,000 housing. It’s hard to understand what public interest is served by this policy.
2. Port commissioner and now Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant DISLIKES that his campaign sent out emails to the wrong address:
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 01:55:58 +0000
From: [email protected]
Subject: An Apology
Bill Bryant for Governor
Last Friday, the campaign's database incorrectly merged your e-mail address with someone else's name when delivering an update. We have corrected the problem and apologize for the error.
It is our commitment to you that if a mistake is made on the Bryant campaign, we will own it and fix it. Thank you for your support and understanding.
If you have thoughts or suggestions for the campaign, please e-mail me at [email protected]
3. City council member Sally Bagshaw DISLIKED the linkage fee (she voted against it last October) before she LIKED it, telling the Stranger late last week she was for it.