Vashon-Maury Island Workplan Action Item 2: Affordable Housing Incentives

The community’s desire to increase opportunities for affordable housing development on the Island was one of the key themes expressed during outreach and development of the subarea plan. In response to this, the adopted 2017 VMI Subarea Plan included creation of a new Special District Overlay (SDO) to incentivize affordable housing development on 246 parcels within the Rural Town of Vashon. Ordinance 18623, which can be read below, established a workplan and timeline to review the effectiveness of the SDO. Annual reports have been completed since 2018 on the SDO and the final review is currently underway as part of the 2024 Comprehensive Plan update. 


Section 10, Ordinance 18623

A. A written evaluation of the special district overlay, as adopted in section 9 of this ordinance, shall be conducted by the executive 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 special district overlay. The evaluation shall examine the advantages and disadvantages of the special district overlay, including a review of the relationship between the parcels that the special district overlay applies to and potable water supply. Other factors the evaluation shall consider include, but are not limited to: the public benefits and risks of retaining or repealing the special district overlay; the current need for affordable housing on Vashon-Maury Island, including for households with incomes at or below thirty percent of area median income; infrastructure capacity, including public roads and sewer; and potential impacts to affordable housing funding if the special district overlay is modified or eliminated.  

B. The evaluation shall include annual reports and a final report:

1. The executive shall conduct preliminary evaluations that include the information in subsection A. of this section, as well as the following information:  

a. a list and evaluation of ongoing pennit applications using the special district overlay, and feedback from those pennit applicant on the efficacy of the special district  overlay;

b. evaluation of whether any code changes are necessary to fuilher the purpose of the special district overlay; and

c. for the first annual report and the final reporl, information of other jurisdictions approaches to incentlizing development of affordable housing, and evaluation of whether those approaches would be appropriate to Vashon-Maury Island.

d. The executive shall file three preliminary evaluation reporls, and either a motion accepting each report or an ordinance proposing necessary code changes to fuither the purposes of the special district overlay. These reports shall be filed annually no later than December 31, 2018, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 2020, in the form of a paper original and an electronic copy with the clerk of the council, who shall retain the original and provide an electronic copy to all councilmembers, the council chief of staff, the policy staff director and the lead staff for the transportation, economy and environment committee, or its successor. When the trigger for a final evaluation under subsection 8.2.a. occurs, any subsequent annual reports shall not be required; and  

2. A draft final evaluation shall be completed within ninety days of the occurrence of one the following, whichever comes first:  

a. issuance of the first permit necessary for construction that would result in a cumulative total of one hundred twenty affordable housing units within the special district overlay; or

b. four years after the effective date of this ordinance.*(Please note that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the timeline of this project. The final evaluation is now part of the scope of the 2024 Comprehensive Plan updated which is currently underway.)

C. The deparlment shall produce a draft final evaluation including the information required in this section.

D. The department shall include a public comment period for the department's draft evaluation described in subsection A. of this section. The public comment period shall be at least forty-five days frorn the date of publication in the Vashon-Maury Island newspaper of record. As part of this public comment period, the departrnent shall:

1. Publish notice of the draft evaluation's availability in the Vashon-Maury Island newspaper of record that includes locations where the draft evaluation is available;

2. Request comments of the King County water district 19 and the Vashon sewer district;

3. Request comrnents frorn any developer that has applied for approval under the special district overlay provisions;

4. Provide a copy at the local library; 

5. Provide an electronic copy on the department's website; and

6. Send electronic notice to the clerk of the council, who shall retain the original email and provide an electronic copy to all councilmembers, the council chief of staft the policy staff director and the lead staff for the transpofiation, economy and environment committee, or its successor.

E. After the public comrnent period has ended, the deparlment shall prepare a final evaluation of the special district overlay, incorporating or responding to the comments received. Within sixty days of the end of the end of the public comment period, the executive shall file a final evaluation report, a motion accepting the report, and an ordinance that implements any proposed changes to the special district overlay, in the form of a paper original and an electronic copy with the clerk of the council, who shall retain the original and provide an electronic copy to all councihnembers, the council chief of staff, the policy staff director and the lead staff for the transportation, economy and environment committee, or its successor.

 

Question title

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Vashon Affordable Housing Special District Overlay is an optional incentive which developers can use on elligible properties located within Vashon Town to increase the density of an affordable housing development. 

A detailed description of the SDO's provisions can be found on King County's website.

As of 2022, the special district overlay has not created any additional affordable housing units on Vashon Isand. 

A review of the special district overlay has been completed annually since 2018. A preliminary report was transmitted to Council each year - these reports can be found in the "Documents" section on this page. King County is currently researching housing options and engaging with the community to form initial policy recommendations.


Questions?

Lane Zorich

[email protected]  | 206-263-6793