Zoning & Small Business

Ran across a story covering another example of zoning issues small businesses (especially those run out of homes and garages) can encounter when they assume that because they operate from home, they are a home based business or home occupation.

Should you run into problems like this, we can help.  Our firm works with small businesses and entrepreneurs to understand zoning, pick the right location for their business, negotiate development conditions, and secure the right permits.  We can also help businesses with zoning compliance (permitting after the fact) when they run into trouble. #permitting #landuse

Full Story:  https://lnkd.in/gwDzrSU

More on the National Housing Shortage

Nationwide #housing availability and affordability is a major economic and social issue. In some locations, it’s a crisis.

Our company advises developers, but we also advise communities. And we’ve worked with a few #economicdevelopment organizations and cities in Iowa that recognize housing and population are keys to their future success.

We aren’t involved in this project but we’ve been following a zoning battle in Iowa City – a college town integral to fueling Iowa’s economy and retaining the state’s college graduates that often flee to bigger cities in the Midwest. This issue is an example of the complexities and personalization that impact #landuseplanning nationwide, worsening the housing dilemma.

It’s even more interesting in context as #iowa cities (even some near Iowa City) offer tax incentives to attract developers and/or buyers to grow their communities. Some communities in Iowa even have to develop plats to encourage housing like others develop speculative industrial buildings to attract jobs. We were quite surprised a few years ago by what we found when doing a study of Iowa for a client.

Iowa City Story (Press Citizen)

Housing Displacement Policies

A massive #housing development in Washington DC, applied for in 2014, has cleared its final appeal. The project will create needed housing options in that metro area, but those who appealed the development argued (in part) it would displace too many existing residents.

Could this be a preview of the next frontier of growth management battles in the region around Seattle? Absolutely.

Adoption of VISION 2050 last fall by the Puget Sound Regional Council established multi-county planning policies for the area’s counties and cities, requiring new land use goals and policies be added to address displacement of existing residents.

Those local policies are now being drafted and will impact the required comprehensive plan updates in 2024, exacerbating the challenge for cities and counties across the region struggling with how to create more density and affordability, but also limit displacement and make little (if any) changes to the areas where urban growth is allowed. #landuse #landuseplanning

Land use projects can expect a greater range of future legal fights, which regionally will slow housing creation, constrain the existing inventory, and inflate housing prices.

Link to News Story

How Much Could GMA Change?

In the years since the Legislature commissioned the “Roadmap to Washington’s Future” a group of planners and agencies have been working to develop an overhaul to the Growth Management Act (GMA).
Although the 2021 legislative session is anticipated to be about budgets and COVID, some legislative leaders are keeping the door open to consider bold amendments to the GMA as a way to address the budget, social equity, and climate change.
Amendments are expected to address topics ranging from local changes the state must approve before they go into effect, new standards that focus on “net ecological gain” and much more.   Check out this recent story in “The Urbanist” for more highlights on what to expect.
It’s unclear how these changes will impact real estate and development, but our firm will be closely monitoring the session on behalf of our clients.

Did you know, our firm is a registered state lobbying firm?  Learn more