Grant to support housing plans

PORT ANGELS – The Port Angeles City Council has unanimously approved a $100,000 state grant for affordable housing development.

The State Department of Commerce’s Housing Action Plan (HAPI) Improvement Grant will be used to produce pre-approved and permit-ready design plans for secondary dwelling units (ADU), duplexes and small lots.

The funds will also be used to update the city’s development plan, permit fees and utility connection fees to include deferrals or waivers for affordable housing development.

The hope is that these activities will support the city’s top priority of tackling housing by increasing housing capacity and reducing construction costs.

“With this grant, and having completed our capacity changes for monumental residential buildings last year, we will not only develop an ADU design manual, but also work on the design of duplex and small infill lots,” said Emma Bolin, Interim Community and Economic Development Manager .

“The reason for including different apartment types is that despite having pre-approved ADU plans, homeowners may still have site design issues such as: B. with utilities and setbacks,” she said.

“We hope that with the addition of duplex and small lot designs, there will be more incentive to subdivide and create these lots and build new homes that are often used for the ‘missing middle homes,'” Bolin said.

The project is expected to build on current land use codes and the code work the city approved earlier this year for commercial zones to allow for residential development.

Councilor Mike French noted that $100,000 for housing may seem small to the public, since “building a single house” is not enough.

It “seems like a drop in the bucket, but hopefully what this will do is get the private sector doing what it does best, which is building houses and ideally making money from it.”

Mayor Kate Dexter spoke about the other aspect of the grant, which aims to reduce utility connection costs among other development fees to make homes more affordable.

Together, they said they hoped the action “would break down enough barriers to create a place where there’s real incentive to build these things,” Dexter said.

tennis courts

In another action, the council also unanimously approved a grant application for a project to repaint and relight tennis courts at Erickson Playfield.

For the past two years, the city has been working in partnership with the Peninsula Tennis Club (PTC) on a project that would meet the requirements to receive a grant from the State Recreation Conservation Office (RCO).

The project, which will cost $200,000, will be funded in part by the grant but also by $10,000 raised through the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) fund, which will be added to the city’s 2023 budget .

At the same time, PTC wants to raise $10,000 to meet the 10 percent match requirement.

In the past, the city has received over $1 million in RCO grants that have been used to light the Civic Field, the artificial turf field at Volunteer Park, and the new pump track at Erickson Playfield.

City officials will learn in October whether the city will be a grantee again and how much it will receive.

Council members also discussed establishing a joint meeting with Clallam County regarding the Joint Public Safety Facility.

No specific date has been set for the meeting, but city officials are targeting the end of May.

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached at [email protected].

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