Tag Archives: Housing

VIDEO: Big green development taking shape in Winslow

King 5 News has a story about Grow Community, a large housing development set to take shape along Wyatt Way and Grow Avenue.

It’s aim is to be fully solar powered and to foster an earth-friendly lifestyle that’s oriented toward walking, cycling and growing food.

I had a story about it earlier this month, which you can read here.

Unlike most big developments on Bainbridge, Grow Community has drawn little criticism (so far). At a recent public meeting, most of the concerns were about traffic impacts. The development’s designers gave assurances that they’d actually be improving the area’s transportation infrastructure by adding sidewalks and bike lanes along Wyatt and Grow.

Grow Community will begin building an eventual 137 homes in May.

It’s big, it’s green and it’s headed to Winslow

The largest housing development since Harbor Square is expected to break ground on the north end of Winslow by the middle of next year.

Planned for the eight acres to the west of the Pavilion, the 138-unit Grow Community aims to be a walkable, energy-efficient neighborhood with a mix of housing types.

“We’re hoping to create a community that doesn’t yet exist,” said Marja Preston, a planner for Asani, the company that’s developing the site. “The idea is to create opportunities for more community interaction through diverse housing and amenities on the site.”

Grow Community’s preliminary site plan calls for condominiums, townhouses, rental apartments and single-family homes set along a wide central trail. Asani plans to incorporate pea-patches, composting areas, rain gardens and a community hall.

Read my story HERE.

Asani’s preliminary site plan can be seen below.

Back when she was a Bainbridge city planner, Preston worked to get the site listed as pilot project with Forest Trends’ Business and Biodiversity Offset Program, which aims to strike a balance between large-scale resource use and environmental preservation.

In a story I wrote for the Review in 2007, the plan was generally panned by other conservationists who were brought to Bainbridge for a Forest Trends conference. The project site was seen as too small to have a significant impact, said conservationists who were leading biodiversity offset projects in Africa that benefit endangered animals and fragile forests.

Though smaller in scale, the project shouldn’t be discounted, a South African scientist said.

Don’t call it a biodiversity offset, he said. Call it sound urban planning.

It looks like that’s what Preston is aiming for, albeit now through the private sector rather than City Hall.

Grow Community Map

Bainbridge house takes to the waves to escape demolition

It might have appeared that a liveaboard was trading his humble quarters for more palatial digs when the floating 3,400-square-foot home drifted in to Eagle Harbor on Tuesday.

Instead, the barged-in abode was, in the words of its new owner, a giant recycling project. Destined for the dump, the home was rescued by Geoff and Candace Daigle. They promptly planted the 19-year-old house on a plot they’ve owned for years at the head of the bay.

For my story on the move and plenty of photos from Larry “Beijing” Steagall, click here.

And for more info on house moving, check out the Web site of B.C.-based Nickel Brothers, the company the Daigles employed to uproot, haul and plant their home.

The Nickel Brothers’ site features dozens of homes available in south British Columbia, the Seattle-area and Port Townsend that might qualify for a historic home plaque. But, as islanders saw with the Cave House on Ferncliff Avenue and the Hoskinson House at the corner of Madison and Wyatt, walls saturated with history are no protection from the wrecking ball.

Looking for an affordable B.I. home? One blogger has the answer!

During a Pritchard Park beach walk, the Seattle P-I’s Bainbridge blogger Kathe Fraga stumbled upon a solution to the island’s affordable housing problem.

“Steps away from the undulating shores of the Island’s gentle waves, this beautiful waterfront home boasts all the amenities that make Island living so great!” she writes of a rock-bottom priced charmer with a million dollar view.

Channeling the spirit of a honey-tongued Realtor, Fraga enthuses about the “sandy ambiance” of this “beachy vintage estate.”

She also plugs its “charmingly rustic” outdoor dining area and its “green” design and solar heating (“There’s no roof!”).

To see the entire floor plan of this very, very affordable fixer-upper, visit Fraga’s blog, Notes from an Island.

Lack of housing is the island’s toughest community challenge

A recent social and health services survey ranks affordable housing as the biggest problem on Bainbridge Island.

Polling various service providers and over 600 residents, the Bainbridge Health, Housing and Human Services Council found that the issue of affordable housing – for buyers, renters and seniors needing special care – had the largest gap between the perceived need and the community’s perceived ability to meet that need. For more information on the housing portion of the survey, read my story by clicking here.

Housing, while identified as the biggest problem, was only part of what the survey had to say.

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Bainbridge population growth hits 8 year low

The brisk pace of Bainbridge Island’s population growth slowed to a crawl this year, casting doubt on projections steering current city planning.

According to state demographers, Bainbridge’s estimated growth hit an eight-year low in 2008, dropping from an average of about 2 percent to less than 0.5 percent.

The slow rise means the island will add only 100 people in 2008, putting the total population at about 23,180.

“This is interesting because so much of Bainbridge politics is based on the prediction that growth is out of control,” said Tim Bailey, an island real estate agent and chair of the city’s 2025 Growth Advisory Committee. “As a resident, I’d say this could be welcome news because it will make it easier to plan and give us time to react.”

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