Author: Brady Jones

24 Jun Strategic Land Use at the Heart of Land Trust and Housing Resources Partnership

Cullen Brady and Phedra Elliott — Guest Column in Kitsap Sun   Two years ago, when Housing Resources Bainbridge (HRB) and the Bainbridge Island Land Trust co-wrote a newsletter article which explored our interest in one another’s work and our still-nascent partnership, a supporter of both organizations wrote to thank us. The partnership, she said, “presents a stronger response,” eliminating “the need to choose.” She is not alone. We are heartened by the number of islanders supporting both organizations, a testament to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of our community’s need for both affordable housing and environmental protection. Earlier this year, HRB and the Land Trust announced a joint project that will combine the two interests. The Land Trust acquired three contiguous 5-acre parcels of undeveloped land along Lovgreen Road near Highway 305. The Land Trust evaluates all potential acquisitions using a conservation values index which identifies areas with the highest ecological attributes, such as healthy habitat, the presence of wetlands, or importance as a wildlife corridor, and directs its finite resources to purchase and restore land with the greatest value. The Lovgreen property was notable for its relatively intact forest within a larger band of connected forested habitat. But the property stood out for another reason too. A portion of one parcel fronting the road demonstrated signs of recent human activity with younger vegetation and invasive species — presenting an opportunity for partnership with HRB. The Land Trust will sell this small section to HRB, where in a few years, HRB will develop a cluster of small single-family homes consistent with existing zoning and affordable housing policy. Like any other HRB development, these homes will be affordable to low-income households as defined by HUD, and they will be kept permanently affordable to eligible households through price regulation and income qualification….