CSA Plan in final stages, council adoption expected later this year

After more than a year and a half of county and volunteer effort, Vashon’s Community Service Area Plan will soon be finalized, but public comment is still possible.

The wide-ranging plan drew attention and controversy primarily around affordable housing and its potential affects on island resources — water in particular. In the end, the plan included a special district overlay that will provide incentives to nonprofit developers of affordable housing.

Currently, the King County Council’s Trans-portation, Economy and Environment (TrEE) Com-mittee is holding a series of briefings on the plan. The final meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 516 Third Ave. in Seattle.

According to King County’s Brad Clark, who led the planning process on Vashon, three islanders have attended the TrEE meetings to comment. In September, Emma Amiad and Hilary Emmer delivered petitions Amiad created in support of affordable housing on the island. The petitions have more than 700 signatures, Amiad said.

Amiad, who was part of the subcommittee that addressed housing, heads the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness. She said she created the petition in part because she wanted to demonstrate widespread support for affordable housing. Additionally, she said she feels county representatives provided information regarding potential development on the island that did not lend well to informed decision-making.

Clark noted that islander Frank Jackson also addressed the committee. Jackson, a member of the island’s Groundwater Protection Committee, raised concerns repeatedly during the planning process that the special district overlay would spur too much development for the island’s resources. His written comments, sent to the TrEE committee last month, followed the same vein.

This week, county officials held the final Vashon meeting about the plan on Tuesday, after press time. The intent of the meeting, Clark said, was to give islanders a chance to comment on the edited version of the plan. He noted that the edits were largely wording and formatting changes that did not affect substantively affect content.

The full King County Council is expected to adopt the plan on Dec. 4.

At Councilmember Joe McDermott’s office, Chief of Staff Grant Lahmann said that McDermott understands the plan is a “compromise by many sides” and is shepherding it through the final process while still listening to comment.

For more information, see the King County Council’s website and click on “Comprehensive Plan.”

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