REALTORS® brave snow, hear briefing on County issues

King County Council member Reagan Dunn addressed over 30 members of the Association’s Government Affairs Committee on February 7. The room was full despite the snowstorm that closed schools the previous day. “There are a number of key housing issues we’re dealing with right now,” said Georgia Wall, Vice Chair of the Committee. “Members want to know how to get involved to make a difference, so we had a great turnout.”

Council member Dunn, who represents 225,000 constituents in King County’s 9th District, encompassing parts of Covington, Kent, Auburn and Maple Valley, commented on a number of housing related issues. He noted the progress King County is making in processing building permit requests in the rural area, which are subject to water restrictions. He also discussed the broader issue of the “Hirst” court decision, which restricts the development of land served by wells.

He also expressed concern regarding the County Health Department’s decision to increase the septic system inspection and transfer fee by 66 per cent. The fee is paid by the seller of a home with an onsite septic system at the time of sale.

Most of the comments and questions Council member Dunn heard from the audience concerned growth planning issues in suburban cities. Six smaller cities in the county have adopted plans to accommodate more housing in the future, but those plans have been questioned by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC).

“Those cities are doing the right thing,” said Sam Pace, Housing Specialist for the Association. “They are creating housing to meet the demand in the marketplace. Without those additional housing options, we’d have even fewer homes for sale and even more rapid price increases.” The PSRC has argued that these cities have exceeded growth targets and should have their eligible federal transportation funds curtailed.”

Council member Dunn noted that a compromise on the issue, favoring the small cities, would soon be adopted.

The Government Affairs Committee of Seattle King County REALTORS® meets the first Tuesday of every other month (next meeting is April 4th).  All members are welcome to attend the meetings. For more information, contact David Crowell:  [email protected]