Marshall Field open space rezone recommended
There will be a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 10 starting at 7 p.m. to take public testimony. To access the online link, go to www.monroewa.gov
The council is scheduled to act Dec. 18 as part of its Comprehensive Plan amendments package.
MONROE — The planning commission recommended approving amendments to the Marshall Field rezone at an Oct. 12 public hearing. A motion to advise the city council to approve the proposed rezone carried 4-3.
The proposed amendments are scheduled to be presented to the city council at its Tuesday, Oct. 27 meeting after press time.
As previously reported by the Tribune, the rezone, proposed by the school district, will allow a developer to purchase the land with the intent to build multi-family housing. Although no specific building has been designated, a rezone would allow for up to 310 affordable units.
Located on Maple Street, across from a school district building along Kelsey Street, the Marshall Field and Memorial Stadium site sits vacant, as a fenced-off grass lot.
Throughout the hearing, commissioners gave their reasoning for their decision to approve or deny the proposal. The majority of commissioners felt the need for affordable housing was apparent.
“(Monroe is) short on different varieties of housing,” Commissioner and small business owner Bridgette Tuttle said. “As an employer, I have a big concern for the age and socio-economic group that I work with every day that can’t find places to live affordably on a certain wage, specifically a wage that’s less than about $30 an hour.”
The struggle of attempting to find an apartment for $1,000 or less was discussed by the commission. It was stated that although increased housing prices may be a West Coast problem, an apartment complex at Marshall Field would be doing something to curb the issue locally.
Tuttle voted in favor of the proposal and added she feels the surrounding area is compatible and “over time will all be redeveloped into multi-family housing.”
Three commissioners voted against the proposal because of increased traffic concerns and the height of density. Among them, Commissioner Steve Jensen voted against the proposal because he did not feel the need for affordable housing in this location warranted a rezone of the site for such a high level of density.
Multiple commissioners stated that the rezoning was in line with the goals for Monroe.
“I think (the proposal) is consistent with the intent of the comprehensive plan,” Stanger said. He added that the proposal is consistent with goal five of the comprehensive plan by providing a wide range of housing types for all Monroe residents.
“That’s something that I’m particularly concerned with (having all housing types) and I think that there are a few types that we’re minus of, and multifamily is one of those,” Stanger said.
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