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Clark County Approves Measures Hoping To Ease Housing Shortage

Jennifer and Mark Wyld of Vancouver stand outside their home and accessory dwelling unit.

Jennifer and Mark Wyld of Vancouver stand outside their home and accessory dwelling unit.

Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

The Clark County Council approved a package of code changes Tuesday promoting previously underused forms of housing to help ease the area’s housing shortage.

The council voted 4-1 for an ordinance that will make it easier to build cottage-style housing, small homes on shared or individual lots with a common open area. The ordinance also encourages accessory dwelling units, small additions to existing houses that typically come in the form of a converted basement, an addition or a new backyard building.

The ordinance raised concerns that it could end up increasing enrollment in Clark County schools while decreasing a source of funding. There was also concern that the ordinance could change the characteristics of neighborhoods.

Councilor Jeanne Stewart, whose district includes a large portion of Vancouver, cast the sole vote against the ordinance after it was amended to remove a requirement that the owner of an accessory dwelling unit live on the property while renting the unit out. The removal of this requirement means that the unit and the main house could be rented out.

Read the full story at the Columbian.

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