Conditional Use permit approved - Snoqualmie Affordable Housing Project finds itself one step closer to reality.
"The City of Snoqualmie posted a Notice of Decision this week stating that a Hearing Examiner has signed off on a Conditional Use Permit requested by Panorama Apartments, LLC for their proposed 191-unit Affordable Housing development to be located in the Eagle Pointe neighborhood of Snoqualmie Ridge. Panorama is a subsidiary of DevCo, which also built Discovery Heights in the Issaquah Highlands". You can read the full details of her story HERE.
I think this is great news for the Ridge and greater Snoqualmie Valley area that has had a massive shortage of affordable housing as Snoqualmie Ridge has ballooned and become a huge destination point for home buyers looking for some relief in high housing prices that have flooded many of the once affordable communities in the area from Bellevue to Redmond to to Sammamish Plateau to Issaquah. Snoqualmie and North Bend have limited affordable housing options and what little land remains available, seems to be going to developers looking for the big one-time cashout.
There has been significant pressure put on the City of Snoqualmie and the council over the last election year by many of its residents and local businesses whose employee base is largely made up of low-income wage earners. They wanted to know how the city was going to address the severe shortage of affordable housing and not just become a destination place for tourists coming from other parts of the state while also making their employees travel into the city to work.
Many of those employed within the city limits cannot afford to live within the city limits and thus commute from great distances like Kent, Auburn, Renton. They contribute to the overcapacity roadways like Highway 18 and SR 900. There is no reason people employed within the city and holding jobs that pay well below the median income range should be forced to travel great distances for their job. Being able to remain within the city limits will contribute to many positive effects like higher employee morale that comes from a sense of feeling like they are a part of the community they are working in vs a 'visitor or outsider' of the community who is there to simply do their job. Fewer cars on the road mean a lower carbon footprint contribution by the city. Higher productivity rates as employees come to work refreshed from being able to sleep in longer, considerably less stressed by the shorter commute and pride for where they work because of their elevated community pride in feeling more like a part of the community.
The proposed affordable housing project is looking to build a multi-building complex consisting of 191 units that will fulfill the Snoqualmie Ridge affordable housing requirement. It will be located on land parcel S-20 in Snoqualmie Ridge which was designated specifically for affordable housing by the city council a few years back. It is the area just north of Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and adjoining the Eagle Pointe neighborhood.
As long as the developer sticks to what is proposed and that these residences remain affordable and don't fall into the trap of starting out affordable for just the first-time buyers who then turn around and sell to the highest bidder, then we will have a truly viable inventory of affordable housing for those whose income is 60% below AMI (Area Median Income) level.
An additional excerpt from Danna's article stated that "In 2017 the King County region AMI for a family of four was set at $96,000 – meaning a family of four with a household annual income of $57,600 or less would qualify for the proposed project. [That AMI could increase in coming years, though.]
Median income guidelines are determined by household size and adjusted annually when the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines the AMI for all metropolitan regions in the country. For more information visit the city’s Affordable Housing in Snoqualmie website page (HERE)".
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