MRSC Insight Blog
Posts for Steve Butler
A successful comprehensive plan will help guide community growth for decades into the future. When updating a plan, a local government should focus on using a strong planning process, conducting robust community engagement, and focusing on plan implementation.
Two of the more significant housing laws adopted this year are HB 1110, which requires certain cities to allow "middle housing" in residential zones, and HB 1337, which requires all GMA-planning cities and counties to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in residential areas.
Impact fees can be used by a local government to help pay for infrastructure costs caused by new development, but there are both complexities and legal requirements an agency should consider before establishing an impact fees program.
As cities and counties look to expand housing supply in their communities, many are considering infill development, or developing vacant or under-utilized parcels within existing, developed areas. Missing middle housing and accessory dwelling units are two options to consider.
Local governments seeking to expand housing options may want to consider a missing middle program that champions use of housing types which may fly under the radar, such as cottage housing, duplexes, and triplexes, alongside more trendy approaches like live-work developments.
Conditional use permits, most often used for certain land uses that might not normally fit into a zoning category but could work if the proposed use meets certain conditions, can be made into a more efficient and effective zoning tool with some modifications.
Manufactured homes are often overlooked yet can be an important affordable housing option. Local governments can protect them by creating new zones (or strengthening existing regulations) that designate areas specifically for manufactured home parks.
This blog examines the key components of local parklet/streatery programs that were established during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and how Washington’s local governments are now evaluating the future of those programs.
Increased zoning can sometimes result in gentrification of a community and the displacement of vulnerable populations. Affordable housing overlay zoning is a tool that can help to increase density without triggering the unintended consequences of gentrification and displacement.
Do an increasing number of short-term rentals impact the local housing market, especially for low- and moderate-income residents? Research suggests it does, and some local governments are regulating short-term rentals differently as a result.
What types of amenities and services can you get to within 15 minutes of leaving your front door? The 15-Minute City concept encourages the development of walkable neighborhoods where a variety of services are within easy reach.
This blog provides and overview and guidance regarding E2SHB 1220, which encourages local governments to take active steps to accommodate transitional housing, emergency shelters, and similar facilities via zoning and regulatory updates.
This blog suggests some action items planners can undertake during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage commerce, promote recreational opportunities, and streamline the planning process.
This blog looks at what activities local governments can undertake to assist local businesses.
This blog post looks at small-scale manufacturing, its role in a strong local economy, and how local governments can encourage the growth of these critical businesses.
This blog post summarizes major planning/land use-related bills that were passed during the 2020 Washington State legislative session.
This blog post highlights local planning/building departments that quickly converted from a traditional permitting/plan review process to an online system.
This blog post reviews how local governments can allow temporary use of the public ROW for business activity during the pandemic.
Local governments are in the process of planning how and when they will reopen facilities, both for staff and for the public. This blog post offers some suggestions to consider in a phased reopening.
This blog post looks at permanent supportive housing, which offers low-barrier affordable housing, health care, and supportive services to formerly homeless individuals, by profiling a related project in Everett.