Mayors Update: East Wenatchee
East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford makes a regular appearance on KPQ's Agenda program to discuss developments or issues before the East Wenatchee City Council
Mayor Crawford shared her perspective on some proposed legislation that could change zoning laws in every city in the state to address housing shortages and affordability.
Here is more on background from a previous article and the views of Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz.
In a synopsis, lawmakers are considering at least one measure that would end the practice of single-family only zoning designations in most residential areas.
The idea is to allow for more density and create more housing units by zoning changes to permit duplexes, four-plex or even six-plex units in some cities.
Under HB 1110, cities like Wenatchee with populations between 25,000 and 75,000, duplexes would be allowed in all residential areas.
Mayor Crawford says she is grateful for the work of Our Valley, Our Future in identifying how Wenatchee and East Wenatchee can work together on the issue of housing affordability. Crawford points to things like "having similar language in our regulations so that we're user friendly across both sides of the river."
One of those opportunities was developing pre-approved design plans for accessory accessory dwelling units or ADU's Read more.
The plans were created for use in the planning departments of both Wenatchee and East Wenatchee to allow people to speed up the permit process.
ADU's can be used for rental units or as another dwelling on a properly sized parcel.
The Mayor said concerns about single family R-1 neighborhoods being drastically altered with new duplexes replacing single family homes or an influx of ADU's would be a matter addressed through code compliance. "I understand those concerns. It is critical that when they were wanting to put in an ADU that there's adequate parking so you don't have a neighborhood that can't support the population of people and where they park."
Crawford believes there's about 2,700 lots with adequate parking that could support ADU's according to East Wenatchee planning department estimates.
"The reality is in our urban areas, we are going to see increased density if we want good doctors in our community, if we want good teachers, we have to provide housing.
Evening Magazine TV Program Comes To East Wenatchee
KING5 TV's Evening Magazine program recently visited East Wenatchee to feature The Miss Veedol in a segment. WATCH SEGMENT
The piece featured interviews with Crawford and Jake Lodato who pilots the Miss Veedol, a replica of the airplane Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangborn made the first trans-pacific flight in 1931 from Misawa, Japan to Fancher Field above East Wenatchee, WA.
"I always take any opportunity to talk about that historical flight because it's so significant and it's not told often enough. I tell people it was a bigger feat than what Lindbergh did flying across the Atlantic. We all know Lindbergh's name and but not everyone knows the Pangborn Herndon names."
Important Trends For East Wenatchee
Dr. Patrick Jones from Eastern Washington University and publisher of the Chelan Douglas Trends website will be the focus of the East Wenatchee City Council Workshop on March 16th. Jones compiles data on the Wenatchee area's employment, housing, education, income and economic vitality plus other important demographics on the region.
"So it's a great update for our council to hear the trends in the data so that when we're making disporting decisions on legislation for our community, that we're focused on the things that we need to encourage and help, but people are more than welcome to come and listen" said Crawford. The Council workshop starts at 5:30pm to 7pm at City Hall.
Apple Blossom Festival Comes To East Wenatchee
East Wenatchee will play host to several big events for the Apple Blossom Festival;
"I'm excited about that. Of course we love Apple Blossom and having some of our events in East Wenatchee that draws people."