Home sizes, affordable housing debated

Lots of housing-related news came out of yesterday’s city council meeting, which we understand was well-attended by Ballard residents. The first is a proposal to limit home sizes in residential areas. You know, those three-story homes that devour nearly every square inch of the lot, towering over the rest of the neighborhood and blocking the sun. The proposal is to limit them to 4,350 square feet for lot sizes less than 5,000 square feet.

The council also looked at a new measure — which passed 8 to 0 — that would require developers to pay substantially more in moving expenses for lower-income renters. But the most controversial item on the agenda was extending the affordable housing tax break for developers to new neighborhoods, including Ballard. Explains the PI, “The measure would grant a tax break to developers who make at least 20 percent of their units affordable for 12 years to those earning about the local median income.” Some Ballardites at the meeting expressed concern that this may fuel even more development. The measure passed 7-1 and goes to the mayor, who is expected to sign it.

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