Port Angeles City Council approves subdivison agreement

NICE funds to support affordable housing

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council has agreed to a pact with the developer of a 37-lot subdivision on nearly 8 acres of land at the intersection of Milwaukee Drive and west 14th Street.

The developer, Dennis Yakovich, said that construction has begun on one house on a completed parcel in the subdivision, with just the foundation completed at this time. More lots will be available for sale or development upon the completion of each of the five phases. Yakovich hopes that will be late summer or early fall for the first two phases.

The council on Tuesday agreed 6-0, with Council member Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin absent, to give nearly $44,000 in the city’s New Improvements for Community Enhancement of Neighborhoods (NICE) funds to Yakovich in exchange for the completion of infrastructure work on the south side of 14th Street.

Yakovich had requested $43,969 in NICE funds to build a sidewalk on the north side of 14th Street and complete a right-of-way frontage improvements as well as a connection to the Olympic Discovery Trail.

In exchange for the funds, the city and Yakovich entered into an agreement that, rather than providing a 50 percent cost match, Yakovich will build a sidewalk on the south side of the street, which goes beyond the requirements of the subdivision approval which was granted by the city hearing examiner in November 2019.

The city sets aside $75,000 a year in NICE funds to use on infrastructure projects, such as housing developments.

“I think this is a great idea and exactly what I think these funds should be used for in the furtherance of affordable housing,” Council member Mike French said.

“I live near that area. It’s very underdeveloped so this is going to be a big win for the city,” he added.

The agreement will go into effect once phases one and two of the development are approved.

“Portions of phases one and two are complete and we are waiting on the final approval for some of the frontages, which has to be approved by the Public Works Department, which we should get very soon,” Yakovich said.

”We plan to complete these phases this summer, but it is subject to being able to get approvals, materials, and contractors,” he added.

Phase one has about seven lots available and Phase two has five.

One of the conditions of the development is that at least 20 percent of the homes built are “attainable housing,” meaning housing for sale or rent requiring monthly costs that do not exceed 30 percent of the eligible homeowner’s or renters’ net income.

An eligible homeowner would have an income no greater than 120 percent of the county’s median income, which according to 2020 census data is $55,000 annually.

“This requirement is from the Infill Overlay Zone requirements,” said Emma Bolin, interim director of Economic and Community Development,.

“Since he ( Yakovich) was able to get that overlay zone, which enables increased density, the developers must include that in the project,” Bolin said.

The math breaks down that an eligible resident would have a net income between just under $20,000 to $66,000 a year, or afford $1,600 in monthly payments.

“Basically it would be middle-income housing,” Bolin said.

The city recently made significant changes to its codes for residential development in the city to allow for more density.

Because this development began prior to those changes, it is not subject to them, but Bolin says so little changed in the design codes that it likely wouldn’t affect the development anyway.

“This project is vested to codes that were in effect prior to the codes changes,” she said.

“However, we didn’t change anything really that would have placed further restrictions on this project anyway.

“The one thing that did change was the density allowed for cottage housing, which he is planning to have as part of this project,” Bolin said.

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached at [email protected]

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