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Council Approves Vashon Subarea Plan

Summary

Balancing growth, recognizing island’s rural nature

Story

The Metropolitan King County Council today gave its unanimous approval to the 2017 Vashon-Maury Island Community Service Area (CSA) Subarea Plan, an update to the King County Comprehensive Plan (KCCP) that recognizes future needs on Vashon, while helping maintain the community’s unique rural nature.

“I believe that everyone will find elements in the Plan that together will work to keep Vashon-Maury Island the very special place that it is today,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents Vashon and Maury Island on the Council. “This plan represents a commitment between King County and the community to continue working together, and I look forward to that opportunity.”

As part of the County’s annual update of the KCCP, the blueprint for growth in the County’s unincorporated communities and the provision of regional services, the Council received an update of the 1996 Vashon Town Plan in the form of a new Subarea Plan. The 2017 Subarea Plan includes long-term planning policies that direct development, provision of services, and infrastructure investments in the community over the next 20 years.

The plan also proposes the creation of a new Special District Overlay (SDO) on 246 parcels on Vashon, which is designed to encourage development of additional affordable housing on the Island.

Included in the plan is a provision calling for an annual review of the SDO’s impact. Included in this review is an assessment of the SDO’s effectiveness in incentivizing affordable housing, any impact on the potable water supply, current affordable housing needs on Vashon, and infrastructure capacity including public roads and sewer. It also calls for a review of approaches and housing models used by other jurisdictions to incentivize affordable housing development, and whether these strategies would be appropriate to Vashon-Maury Island. The first of these reports would be due by December 2018, and annually thereafter through 2020.

Today’s adoption of the 2017 Vashon-Maury Island Community Service Area (CSA) Subarea Plan is the culmination of twenty-two month long community engagement process that included various forms of written and electronic public outreach, a community advisory group, five Island-wide community meetings, and four public hearings at the Council.
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