Jessica Fisher, Public Information Assistant, 509.625.6749
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 5:13 p.m.
According to the National Housing Conference, the income needed to afford the fair market rent of a two-bedroom home jumped by more than 10 percent between 2016 and 2017. Affordability is further challenged as families relocate from more expensive markets to new developments in Spokane’s urban neighborhoods to take advantage of lower housing costs here. The infill development team is focused on helping develop vacant lots and land parcels within areas that area already built up.
To keep housing affordable in Spokane, housing development must keep pace with the growing population; Spokane is expected to grow by 20,000 people by 2037. The proposed infill code amendment would update the Pocket Residential Development code. This update would enable development of difficult sites without any change to the number of homes allowed per acre of land, if each home is built on a separate lot. Currently, pocket residential development in these areas requires rezoning the property. Another development tool, Cottage Housing, will be updated to allow slightly larger units and the ability to attach two units in a single structure, with a new option of subdividing the development for separate sales. Unlike pocket residential development, cottage housing grants small bonuses to the number of units allowed that will motivate builders to use enhanced design features.
The proposed amendments to Pocket Residential Development and Cottage Housing codes are designed to develop difficult sites while providing a variety of housing types. By promoting growth near services and frequent transit, infill development may also significantly decrease a households’ transportation costs, making it more affordable to live there.
By removing barriers and enabling the development of a variety of high quality housing products on vacant lots throughout the city, infill development can help increase the economic diversity in neighborhoods, a goal of the Shaping Spokane Comprehensive Plan.
The next public open house to discuss these infill development code revisions is Thursday, November 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the West Central Community Center.