Sep 27: Dinner Speaker Louisa Garbo, Kitsap County Director of Community Development

Our Dinner Speaker for September will be Louisa Garbo Kitsap County Director of Community Development. MS Garbo relieved as Director in August 2016. She is a certified planner in both America and Canada and an accredited LEED Green associate. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Manitoba; a master’s degree in city planning from the University of Manitoba; a juris doctor from William Howard Taft University in California; and a master’s degree in negotiation, conflict resolution and peacebuilding from California State University. Please come out and hear her plans for the Community. We meet on September 27 at 5PM at McClouds Grill House, 2901 Perry Ave East, Bremerton WA 98310.

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What Is The Bundle of Legal Rights of a Real Estate Owner?

Owning real estate carries with it a traditional “bundle of legal rights” transferred with the property from the seller to buyer. These are the recognized rights of the holder of title to the property. Continue reading

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Urban planners predicted that Millennials would prefer renting apartments in dense cities over owning homes in low-density suburbs. So they told regional governments to restrict low-density development and promote high-density housing instead. Now, Millennials are 18 percent less likely to own homes than their parents did when their parents were young: in 1990, 45 percent of 25-34-year-olds owned their own homes; by 2015, it was just 37 percent.

Were urban planners correct? No, says a report from the Urban Institute. Instead, Millennials just prefer to live in expensive cities, and that has depressed their homeownership rates.

I don’t think the report is quite right. According to the American Community Survey’s table S0101, which breaks down population by age groups, Millennials a little more attracted to large urban areas than others, but the difference isn’t enough to account for an 18 percent decline in homeownership rates. The data show that 13.7 percent of Americans are Millennials (which the Urban Institute defined as ages 25 to 34 in 2015), while Millennials make up 15.1 percent of urban areas of 1 million people or more. That’s a significant difference, but certainly not enough to reduce homeownership by 18 percent by itself.

The real problem is that urban planners convinced cities to apply their prescription to nearly half the housing in America. Combining American Community Survey tables B19113 (median family income), B25007 (median home prices), and B25003 (occupied homes) on a county level, the median value of about 45 percent of American housing is more than three times median family incomes. With few exceptions, prices rise above three times incomes only when government policies make it difficult for homebuilders to meet demand. Continue reading

The Boom in Urban Housing Prices is Holding Back Economic Growth

The evidence suggests the main factor constraining housing supply in today’s star cities is increasingly burdensome land-use regulation. Critics point to a variety of rules, including minimum lot sizes (as in Boston’s suburbs), urban boundaries (as in Portland), stringent environment rules (especially in California), long building permit times, and caps on the number of permits. 

Last year the New York Times ran a story on Ms. Sheila James, a 62-year-old woman who commutes two hours and 50 minutes each way between her home in Stockton, California, and her $81,000-a-year government job in San Francisco.

The number of Americans like Ms. James with extreme commutes is growing, but their stories represent unusual exceptions that illustrate a larger pattern. More and more Americans are moving to less expensive regions of the country, or, more commonly, settling for the limited opportunities available in struggling communities like Stockton. These changes in the economic geography of American cities have far-reaching implications for upward mobility and economic growth. Continue reading

Government can’t force tenants for life

Mr. Pakdel is a small business owner in Ohio. In 2009 he bought what’s known as a “tenancy in common” (TIC) apartment in San Francisco and leased it to a residential tenant. As part of the purchase, Pakdel signed an agreement with the other owners to convert the building’s six units into condominiums. But the City of San Francisco requires that property owners doing this conversion must offer lifetime leases to any tenants. Rather than allow the city to trample his property rights by dictating the use of his own property, Pakdel is fighting the unconstitutional mandate in federal court. Continue reading

Title 2 is back under discussion

Title 2 is the county ordinance dealing with Code Compliance. It is the directive on what is and is not allowed during the course of a county investigation of a property for compliance with county ordinances.

The proposed revision  DCD_Update Title 2 July 25 2018 states “In the performance of that investigation, an authorized official may enter upon any land and make examinations and surveys, provided that such entries, examinations and surveys are carried out in accordance with all applicable laws and do not damage or interfere with the use of the land by those persons lawfully entitled to the possession thereof.”

While this segment is true it provides no guidance to the county inspectors or it’s citizens/ property owners what those rules actually are.  In absence of an emergency, service of a warrant or building permit the county needs permission to enter on a property.

Continue reading

Maximum Lot Size Restrictions Passed

Maximum Lot Size measure passed on June 11, 2018

The Kitsap county Commissioners held public testimony in Poulsbo on February 12, 2018. Based on Public feedback the delayed action for further reflection. On June 11 they signed the ordinance revision without substantial changes.

What does the Maximum lot size say?

“For new building permit applications on vacant lots over eighteen thousand square feet located in urban low residential (ULR) and urban cluster residential (UCR) zones, the maximum lot size shall not exceed nine thousand square feet. This restriction shall not apply if:

  1. The net developable area of the existing parcel is less than eighteen thousand square feet; or
  2. The project application will meet minimum density requirements as established by this chapter.”

What does the maximum lot size mean?

The intent of the Maximum Lots size rule is to maximize the development density in the Urban areas.

  1. 9000 Square feet equates to less than ¼ acre lot size. (1 acre = 43,560 Sqft)
  2. This restriction was only placed on Urban Low Residential and Urban Cluster Residential Zoning designations. These zones were developed because there are environmental restrictions (Banks, Streams, wetlands, etc) that preclude greater density in Urban Growth Areas.
  3. This requires urban density without providing urban services (water/ sewer)
  4. Any applicant for a building permit on a current oversized lot will be required to subdivide the property with the attendant costs, regardless of the owner desires.
  5. Any Subdivision would require provision for access, water and septic systems for all lots.