Hi-rises not needed to meet Snohomish population growth, ADUs can do it


To the Editor:
Regarding the Jan. 10th Tribune letter on ideas on affordable housing:
First, everyone in America deserves a roof over their head and food on the table, but in general the so-called “phony progressive” approach to build more high-density apartments while giving for-profit corporate developers financial incentives is the wrong solution and is just plain bad policy. (Think the Midtown and Pilchuck Districts and the upcoming Ordinance SMC14.210.240 set to be approved by the city council on Feb. 20.)
Snohomish is not Southern California.
The little town of Snohomish has enough vacant buildable land already zoned to cover the next 50 years, let alone 20. (The Midtown District covers over 100 acres and has a maximum density of 165 dwelling units per acre or 16,000+ new units.)
The Growth Management Act’s 20-year population growth target for the city is 2,500 or about a thousand new dwelling units or about 50 new units per year. Infill and annexations from the various Urban Growth Areas will easily reach that goal.
The better approach is the new state law on “Accessory Dwelling Units” or ADUs allowing any city residential lot owner to add two more dwelling units ranging from tiny homes of 200 square feet to starter homes of 1,000 square feet each. That law alone will most certainly cause Snohomish’s population to reach 12,500 by the year 2044, keeping Snohomish a small town and desirable tourist destination.
Let free market capitalism work without the interference and distortion of financial incentives to large corporate developers.

Morgan Davis