At its regular meeting on Dec. 7, 2020, the University Place City Council voted unanimously to adopt Form-Based Code (FBC) and corresponding amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Plan. This effort is critical to the City’s efforts to implement its Regional Growth Subarea Plan that was adopted in 2017.
For the better part of two years, the City’s Planning Commission worked tirelessly on these changes. The commission held 12 public meetings and one public hearing on the proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments. On Oct. 21, 2020, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended forwarding the amendments to the City Council for review and passage.
With the City Council’s approval, U.P.’s Director of Planning Services David Swindale says the new amendments are now in effect and have already resulted in conversations with developers who are interested in moving ahead with projects to take advantage of the new Form-Based Code.
“The Senior Housing Affordability Group (SHAG) proposed a 140-unit, four-story senior housing project in 2013 but it was never built,” Swindale said. “The project is now called Sustainable Housing for Ageless Generations (SHAG) and thanks to the new zoning amendments, the developers came to us in the last week of 2020 proposing 170 units and additional height. The proposed site is the blighted old Red Apple Supermarket at 27th Street and Grandview Drive, so it will be a very welcome improvement and evidence of how these changes are already encouraging new investment and opportunities in U.P.”
For City Council Member Kent Keel, the passage of these long-sought after changes was a welcome development. “This item has been a long time coming and I want to thank the Planning Commission for all the work they did on this,” he said. “This will feed into the economic base, vitality and livability of our city.”