The Edmonds Citizens Housing Commission recommended that single-family residential areas be rezoned for one duplex or two townhouses to increase the supply of affordable housing in Edmonds. Edmonds single-family residential parcels are zoned from 6,000 to 20,000 square feet.
If that recommendation is adopted, the following should be implemented to ensure future equitable density in all single-family residential neighborhoods.
Zone two townhouses or one duplex for every 3,000 square feet in all single-family residential areas regardless of parcel size so neighborhoods with larger parcels near Puget Sound have the same density increases as neighborhoods in areas with smaller residential parcels.
Unfortunately for equity and inclusion, developers are still going to gravitate toward less-expensive residences on smaller parcels in the eastern part of Edmonds, as the more expensive houses on larger lots near Puget Sound will not “pencil out” for development.
To avoid that unfortunate result, a zoning equity enhancer (a term I invented to advance the cause of equity) should be applied to the more- expensive, larger-parcel, single-family residential areas. Neighborhoods adjacent to Puget Sound that will not be developed due to the prohibitive costs of securing those properties should be zoned for even more numerous units per parcel to ensure those projects “pencil out.”
If there must be increased density in single-family residential neighborhoods, it must be accomplished in an equitable manner so that all neighborhoods, not only the less-affluent ones, can equally “enjoy” the myriad “benefits” of increased density in Edmonds.