Everett City Council’s action wasn’t ban of supportive housing

Multiple news sources can’t seem to get the details right about the Everett City’s Council’s action to remove the 2016 ordinance that allowed supportive housing to be placed on publicly owned land in single-family zoned neighborhoods. This ordinance was created specifically to build Clare’s Place, and it was going to be used to build a multi-unit complex in the Norton-Grand historic overlay area, at Norton Playfield.

The Herald and other news sources have repeatedly chosen to use the terms banned, barred and nixed in headlines related to the council’s decision in the most dramatic and inflammatory way. Supportive housing is not banned from multi-family zones or public land in Everett. The city’s legal definition of supportive housing includes a multi-family structure. Therefore, this discussion has always been about development density and less about the type of housing. The 2016 ordinance allowed more density in areas where large-scale development could cause negative impacts to utility infrastructure, parking, historic character and visual quality, negative impacts that City zoning codes and comprehensive plans protect against.

Allan Giffen, Planning Director, explained at multiple City Council meetings that eliminating this ordinance does not eliminate supportive housing in single family or any other areas of Everett. Instead, if supportive housing is built in an area, the density needs to match what is currently allowed in that zone. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways around matching density with current zoning. The developers of the planned complex on Norton Playfield can and did apply to rezone the property with a change to the city’s current zoning code and comprehensive plan. They would like to modify this property from single-family zoning to multi-family. This requires a more careful look than the previous ordinance allowed, with the planning commission, and city council approving the change. A change to multi-family zoning would allow a larger supportive housing structure to be built.

The 2016 supportive housing ordinance discussions have largely been focused on density issues that apply to the City and specifically Norton playfield. Expect the discussion for a rezone to center around an appropriate place for density and development, not the location for supportive housing services.

Susan Mausshardt

Everett

Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, March 29

A sketchy look at the day in the Covid-19 outbreak (and politics.)… Continue reading

Editorial: Yes, COVID-19 is closing the gates on parks

The balance between caution and getting outdoors does require some concessions. But you can still walk.

Viewpoints: Don’t close the parks; we need them for our health

In a time of crisis, we need a safe option for exercise and fresh air; the outdoors is all many have left.

Commentary: Veterans among most at risk during virus outbreak

Congress must make sure our veterans can get the care they need for therapies and a vaccine.

Comment: We can’t lag in limiting virus risk among homeless

Limiting the virus’ spread among those vulnerable will require more screening and better shelter.

Commentary: Which airlines can weather an 18-month shutdown?

Those who can turn to governments and wealthy shareholders may have the cash they need to survive.

Herald homework: Spread some positivity around

Lately, I have noticed that everybody seems hung up on the coronavirus… Continue reading

County, state should delay due date for property taxes

Covid-19 and the related economic directives from local and state leaders are… Continue reading

Media have encouraged panic over Covid-19

We all just have to chill out about this Covid-19 virus. We’ve… Continue reading

Most Read