Port Townsend Mayor Michelle Sandoval.

Port Townsend Mayor Michelle Sandoval.

Port Townsend City Council OKs buy for new housing

Public comments in enthusiastic support

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend City Council voted unanimously to have City Manager John Mauro execute a major purchase of 14.4 acres of land for future affordable housing.

A state Department of Commerce grant of $1.37 million will fund the acquisition, so the city won’t be taking the purchase cost out of its general fund, Deputy Mayor David Faber noted just before Monday night’s vote.

The land, 8 acres of which is flat or gently sloping and considered suitable for construction, has room for 100 or more homes, Public Works Director Steve King has said.

These may accommodate a mix of housing for low- and moderate-income residents and units priced at the market rate.

The council members, who have been discussing this purchase for months, received an uncommon wave of public comment before Monday night’s decision, all of it enthusiastic.

Both Mike Rogers and Gloria Lamson of Port Townsend wrote the same thing, with the same capital letters, repeated thrice: “YES YES YES!”

“This is the perfect time to develop housing that’s innovative,” wrote Annalee McConnell, adding the Evans Vista purchase is “a win-win-win opportunity!”

“I wish you every success in making Evans Vista a future home for many of us,” Peter West emailed.

“I want to live in an income- and age-diverse community that remains vitalized with its quirky artists, local farmers, and multitude of nonprofits,” wrote Judy Alexander, an affordable-housing advocate and volunteer builder.

“It will take a strong partnership between our government and our public participants to establish the best vision possible,” she noted, adding “the collective brain IS smarter than the individual one.”

Commenters Bill Wise and Jane Armstrong emphasized the need to keep Evans Vista’s future homes moderately priced — for generations to come.

“We need to ensure that as development completes, the ‘affordable concept’ continues in perpetuity and beyond the first owner. I personally support a managed affordable rental situation,” Wise wrote.

“Especially when public dollars are involved,” Armstrong said, “the affordability of that housing should be permanent or long term, sustained from its original designation.”

Mayor Michelle Sandoval, in her last City Council meeting before retirement from the post, spoke her mind about the larger topic of affordable housing.

“It’s interesting. There are no neighbors here,” she said, “so we haven’t had a lot of negative [comments],” about the plans for a mixed-income development on Evans Vista.”

Over many years, Sandoval added, she has heard lots of complaints about other housing plans and ideas, be they cottages or single-family homes or apartments. Density “isn’t becoming for Port Townsend,” some have told her.

As an urban growth area, “we have the responsibility as well as the privilege to have housing here,” the mayor said.

“We need to get over ourselves. We need to start doing this.”

________

Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

More in News

RoseHips Kween Pheanamix, also known as Anami of Port Townsend, cozies up to the Goddess Bunny sculpture just before the start of the Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Skulpture Race on Sunday morning. The race got underway at noon on Water Street, then ran uphill on Monroe and Lawrence streets, heading for the beach at Fort Worden State Park, and then the “Dismal Bog” at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News)
Kinetic Skulpture Race

RoseHips Kween Pheanamix, also known as Anami of Port Townsend, cozies up… Continue reading

The City of Port Townsend is looking at options for its municipal golf course and is seeking community feedback through a series of meetings with stakeholders and the public. (City of Port Townsend)
Port Townsend City Council, stakeholder group to meet on future of municipal course

Commissioned study says $1.5 million needed for upgrades

Inside the proposed design for the expansion and remodel of the Sequim Library includes shorter shelving, allowing visitors to see through the building, said Pia Westen, project lead for SHKS Architects. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Architects present new Sequim Library design to community

Permits anticipated by January; construction possible next summer

Rocky Wisniewski of Sequim, a member of the North Olympic Shuttle Spindle Guild, demonstrates how to spin fiber on a walking wheel during Saturday’s Pacific Northwest Fiber Exposition at Vern Burton Community Center in Port Angeles. The two-day event featured a wide variety of demonstrations, exhibits, workshops and a marketplace showcasing all things fiber. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Fiber exposition

Rocky Wisniewski of Sequim, a member of the North Olympic Shuttle Spindle… Continue reading

Clallam County Fire District No. 4)  
The late Terry Wayne Barnett, who was a Joyce Fire District Commissioner and chair of the building committee, is pictured standing in front of one of the fire trucks he wanted to be housed in the planned apparatus barn in Joyce.
Joyce loses ‘irreplaceable’ community volunteer

Terry Barnett served as fire commissioner, on JEPP group and took on variety of other roles

In the Port Angeles Symphony’s season-opening Family Pops concert Saturday, Lisa Bergman narrates — and demonstrates a cat walking through the forest — in Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” with music director Jonathan Pasternack conducting beside her. The next concert of the season will be Chamber I: Stravinsky’s Soldier Tale on Oct. 14-15. Tickets and more information are available at http://portangelessymphony.org. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News)
Narrating the symphony

In the Port Angeles Symphony’s season-opening Family Pops concert Saturday, Lisa Bergman… Continue reading

Port Angeles City Council to consider religious shelters for homeless

The Port Angeles City Council will consider on Tuesday… Continue reading

Hundreds affected by Port Angeles water main break

Showers, non-potable water offered; cases of water given to residents cut off from service

A crew from the Northwest Maritime Center facilities department, Sam Trocano, Jeff Hogue, Shane Meyer and Mike Conklin, work on the removal of the floating dock on the center’s pier in preparation of winter winds and weather. In the background, work continues on the deconstruction of the entrance to the Point Hudson Marina by Orion of Tacoma. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Floating dock removal at Northwest Maritime Center

A crew from the Northwest Maritime Center facilities department, Sam Trocano, Jeff… Continue reading

Most Read