REDMOND, WA – Last month, Redmond became the first city in King County to have its draft Housing Element updates for the comprehensive plan, known as Redmond 2050, reviewed and recognized by the King County Affordable Housing Committee (AHC). In a unanimously approved letter, the AHC highlighted strengths, including the Housing Element’s inventory and analysis and its focus on mitigating displacement as the city grows.
“Housing is a top priority for our community,” said Mayor Angela Birney. “I am proud of the Housing Action Plan we adopted in 2021, the work we have accomplished in partnership with the community to implement that plan, and the recognition from the Affordable Housing Committee that our updated Housing Element aligns well with countywide planning policies.”
“King County and our 39 cities have embarked on an ambitious plan to provide desperately needed housing at a level that will make living in every community accessible to people from all walks of life,” said King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “Redmond has long been a leader on affordable housing policy, with a well-established inclusionary zoning program, newly adopted tenant protections, and more. I commend the City on taking their commitment to housing to the bold new level needed by all jurisdictions in King County, rising to the challenge we all face, working with their community, and showing how we can retain a high quality of living while increasing housing access for all residents.”
Redmond’s early participation in the plan review process enabled the City to obtain initial input from AHC staff to help strengthen the Housing Element draft. Redmond staff collaborated with AHC staff to find opportunities to fine-tune the review process, which will benefit other cities in King County with their plan reviews.
Since adoption of the Housing Action Plan in 2021, Redmond has:
- Allocated $10 million for affordable housing in the 2023-24 biennial budget
- Worked with Sound Transit to select an affordable housing developer for surplus property adjacent to the Overlake Village light rail station
- Established a pilot program for a 12-year multifamily property tax exemption to supplement a successful 8-year exemption program
- Drafted code amendments to exempt affordable housing from impact fees
- Drafted code amendments to update incentives for affordable housing in Overlake
- Drafted code amendments to eliminate off-street parking requirements for most housing in centers and near frequent transit
- Completed a middle housing and racial equity study to inform code amendments to be proposed in 2024
All cities in the Puget Sound region are updating their housing policies by the end of 2024 as part of the state-required periodic review of local comprehensive plans.
Jill E. Smith, Communications Manager