CSA Plan approved, moves to full council

In the most recent step for Vashon’s Community Service Area Plan, the King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee took action on it last week, with members voting to move it to the full council with a “do pass” recommendation.

A public hearing and possible final adoption by the King County Council is scheduled for Dec. 4 in Seattle.

The committee voted to adopt the Executive’s Striking Amendment S1, along with two additional amendments proposed by Councilmember Joe McDermott. One of the amendments simply supplied correct land use maps. The other amendment, however, was substantial. It mandates an annual county evaluation of the proposed Special District Overlay, which drew a lot of controversy on the island, with some saying it would lead to too much development and some saying it will do too little to support the creation of affordable housing.

With the acceptance of this amendment, instead of an evaluation taking place after 120 units are built, as the plan previously called for, the study of the overlay must be done every year.

The amendment states the evaluation will be done “to assess the efficacy of its scope and standards in achieving the overlay’s purpose of incentivizing affordable housing within the Vashon Rural Town, and shall include recommendations to retain, amend or repeal the overlay.”

Additionally, the amendment says that the evaluations will examine the advantages and disadvantages of the overlay and will include a review of the relationship between the parcels the overlay applies to and the potable water supply. It will also look at the need for affordable housing on Vashon, including for households with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income, infrastructure capacity and potential impacts to affordable housing funding if the overlay is eliminated or modified.

King County’s Bradley Clark, who led the planning process on the island, noted that the plan no longer makes any change to the way zoning is setup for marijuana. Producing and processing remain as allowed uses, Clark said, and this version of the plan leaves those in. However, the plan also calls for the county to study the island’s zoning, specifically all the property-specific, or p-suffix, development conditions on the island. As part of the evaluation, updates will be included to conditions for marijuana uses to make them consistent with other unincorporated areas of King County.

At last week’s meeting, only one islander addressed the committee, Frank Jackson.

He made two recommendations for consideration, one had to do with the previous provision to study the special district overlay after 120 were built, and the other was for the county to evaluate the ferry system, particularly regarding potential development related to the special district overlay.

Islanders are still welcome to comment on the Community Service Area Plan and to attend the meeting on Dec. 4.

For more information, see the King County Council website.

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