John Reed, Edmonds
Hello, I’m John Reed, Edmonds resident. I am the President of The Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds (also known as ACE). My comments this evening are on behalf of ACE.
ACE was founded in 2004 by Edmonds citizens who wanted responsible development that respected and complemented the character of Edmonds – its small town atmosphere, its generally low-level architecture and its natural environment. More information about ACE can be found at: www.aceedmonds.org.
ACE appreciates the City Council revisiting the 2018 housing discussion and proposing a more open process. I’d like to highlight the ACE recommendations expanded upon in information already shared with the Council. (A copy of the complete document provided to Council can be found on the ACE website)
The proposed “charter” from the March Council meeting is somewhat vague. ACE suggests including a list of housing options such as accessory dwelling units, backyard cottages and other multi-family options, and referencing housing needs for seniors, disabled persons, veterans and low-income people. The Housing Commission should have the mandate to focus on all housing issues except homelessness issues that are better evaluated elsewhere by the Mayor and Council.
Public information and public input will be essential for the Commission’s success. This should be regular and ongoing.
The proposed Housing Commission could very well be too large and unwieldy. ACE instead recommends each Council member appoint two voting members – one from each assigned district AND one at-large member. This will enable a better cross-section of representation and knowledge across the City. And the Mayor would appoint two members. Ex-Officio members are not needed. The Council should designate one of its members, not two, to serve as a Council liaison for the Commission and of course any Council Member should be able to attend any Housing Commission meeting at any time. The Housing Commission is important to the future of Edmonds. Thank you for considering the recommendations of ACE and other groups and citizens in this process.