At the beginning of the April 4th City Council meeting, Council member Polly Christensen made a motion to direct the City Manager to add a discussion of inclusionary zoning – requiring builders to deed restrict a portion of new development and dedicate it affordable housing — to a future agenda. She claimed the Work Force Housing Task Force had supported inclusion zoning as a means of creating affordable housing (this is inaccurate) and argued the City needs a dedicated funding source. In fact, the City Council has dedicated a portion of its general fund revenue to affordable housing since 2016.
Bonnie Finley said flatly she would not support Christensen’s motion. Brian Bagley called inclusionary zoning a way to make builders shoulder the entire burden. Mayor Coombs expressed his willingness to discuss affordable housing but dismissed the idea of focusing on inclusionary zoning. He voiced his desire to put a sales tax increase on the November ballot, saying voters should decide if they want to fund affordable housing. Ultimately, Christensen couldn’t convince any other Council members to support her motion so it failed.