Zoning revisions to be discussed Monday

Port Townsend City Council, planning commission meet to discuss housing

PORT TOWNSEND — A joint session of the Port Townsend City Council and the city Planning Commission will meet Monday to discuss revisions to the city’s zoning codes.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and be held in-person in council chambers at 540 Water St., Port Townsend, or virtually.

To attend Monday’s meeting virtually via computer or tablet, go to http://join webinar.com and enter the nine-digit Webinar ID: 242-937-955. To hear by phone, call 360-390-5064 and use access code 706-376-505#.

An audio-only live stream will be available at https://cityofpt.us/citycouncil/page/agendasminutesvideos.

Public comment emails will be included in the meeting record. Send them to publiccomment@cityofpt.us.

The city is considering revisions to the city code to spur development of additional housing within the residential areas, known as infill housing, with the aim of increasing the stock of “middle housing.”

Middle housing generally refers to affordable housing for those in the middle class who make too much money to benefit from social programs but barely enough to pay rent, utilities and other associated costs of living.

State law allows municipalities to update their zoning code without going through the State Environmental Policy Act process if those changes are made before April 1.

Jane Lohry Armstrong, chair of the steering committee for the Housing Solutions Network — which is a network of volunteers who are working on the housing problems — urges people to participate in the meeting, whether online or in person.

“We encourage people to listen with an ear toward judging if the zoning changes will have the results they’d like to see for this community,” she said Friday.

“We all know we need housing but what does that look like?”

Zoning changes should create affordable housing for people who work in the community, she said as she called for more strategy development.

“Part of our concern is that PT and East Jefferson County need a thoughtful discussion and strategy to produce more housing that is affordable or at least attainable for people who live and work here.

“How do you perform a job if you are housing insecure?” she asked.

More information on the city’s plans can be found online at https://cityofpt.us/planning-community-development/page/residential-building-capacity.

Housing Solutions Network can be found at https:// housingsolutionsnetwork.org/.

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