Local governments and an inconvenient truce on housing
Or how the Association of Washington Cities lost the "year of housing" slowly
For the Association of Washington Cities, the “year of housing” meant rolling with the punches in its tussle with the state over who can draw the blueprints for your neighborhood.
Middle housing. Accessory dwelling units. Streamlining building permits. Climate-minded city planning. In just 105 days, legislators okayed all of that and more. It also meant wrestling powers away from local governments—parking mandates, zoning authority, building permits—in the process to shore up the 1.1 million homes1 the state is going to need in 20 years’ time. Even with a determined cohort of new lawmakers and a demanding public, the outcome wasn’t written in marble, thanks in no small part to AWC’s main man in the capitol.