Approved on October 30, 2017.
The final amendments to the original 2016 Shoreline Master Plan have now been approved by the State Department of Ecology. Getting here has been years in the making, but it is finally done.
Historically, much of our waterfront has been zoned Rural, Rural Residential, Rural Farm Forest, Nature and Conservancy, among the most prominent designations. It appears, from the revised County zoning maps, that the percentage of shoreline now under the restrictive Conservancy zoning has been dramatically increased.
To explain, surrounding every island is a 200’ shoreline zone that overlays every waterfront parcel of land. When I use the word “overlays”, I mean that the 200’ shoreline area may now be zoned differently than the upland portion of the same property. In the past, two zoning designations on a single parcel was uncommon.
The Conservancy zoning is intended to protect our shoreline ecology. It does this by limiting the uses permitted on lands of this zoning. Most uses other than single family dwellings are discouraged, including any commercial use, even vacation rental of shoreline homes.
I would encourage every shoreline property owner to look at the new shoreline zoning maps posted on the County’s website. Do this by going to the Community Development Department at SanJuanco.com, pull up the “maps” section and click on the map of your island. Then view your shoreline designation, to verify if your property is one affected by zoning change.
A good outcome of the Master Plan seems to be that single family residential construction within the shoreline zone may be more broadly allowed than has been the case for the last 5 plus years. There seems to be more freedom to develop shoreline residential property. Of course there are definite limits to this freedom, as is always the case. The proof will be in how the new rules are interpreted by our County officials.
San Juan County’s shoreline now meets State standards of protection against degrading and harming the shoreline environment. Only time will tell the full story. I plan updates on this issue as I learn more as to how it is being applied.
John Dunning, Designated Broker/Owner
Every week, the Windermere Foundation disburses grants to support non-profit agencies dedicated to helping low-income and homeless families. On a given day, thousands of dollars’ worth of grants can be issued. However, on one particular day, November 15 to be exact, an amazing thing happened…the Windermere Foundation disbursed nearly $254,000. This was a record day of giving for the Windermere Foundation!
A total of 35 non-profit organizations benefitted from the record-breaking $253,782 in donations that day. The largest beneficiary was Attain Housing in Kirkland, WA, which received $56,000. Their grant was funded by the Windermere Real Estate East, Inc. group of offices which are located east of Seattle in Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, and Kirkland. The funds will provide affordable housing to homeless families with children, as well as case management for setting financial and social goals.
Attain Housing helps homeless and at-risk families with children in King County to become stable and self-sufficient. Here’s a story of one of their recent clients:
When Jeremy and Lisa entered into Attain Housing’s program just five months ago, they had a lot of hurdles ahead of them. They were both only nineteen, had a newborn, had been homeless since they were fourteen, and had never experienced stability. As soon as they moved into one of Attain’s transitional housing apartments and began working with their case manager, Jeremy started attending a skills training program. He has since earned his GED, acquired his driver’s license, obtained a vehicle, and started full-time employment. Jeremy’s family is on track to successfully complete the program by the end of their first year, but they already have plans to move into market rate housing within the next two to three months. This is success!
According to Kathy Fleming, Executive Director at Attain Housing, “The $56,000 gift from Windermere ensures that five families (including 15 children) will have safe housing and supportive services for an entire year. This is a significant gift and the largest grant that Attain Housing has received from any organization or company. Thank you!”
The Windermere Foundation is fortunate to have generous owners, agents and staff that contribute to their offices’ Foundation fund pool. This pool of funds, combined with Windermere transaction donations, monies raised through Windermere office fundraising events, and donations from the public, allows the Windermere Foundation to disburse much-needed funding to local non-profits in the areas that our Windermere Real Estate offices serve.
If you’d like to help to help non-profits that provide services to low-income and homeless families in your area, please consider donating to the Windermere Foundation.
To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.
Posted December 4 2017, 1:35 PM PST by Marilou Ubungen @ Windermere Real Estate