We are in the midst of a housing crisis, on both sides of the river. There is no available housing for either the homeless, at one end of the economic spectrum, or for professionals, at the other end of that spectrum or, in fact, anyone in between.
Meanwhile, Clatsop County has vacant land opposite Costco that it does not know how to develop. Why is that land not being offered to developers to build multiincome housing?
I look at that land and I see opportunities for 100 to 1,000 units of modern, efficient housing. There are numerous local architects and builders who would know what to do if given the opportunity to make proposals.
I understand that we are currently in the midst of a shortage of building materials, but by the time construction could actually begin, that shortage is very likely to have eased, or disappeared altogether.
The Biden administration is planning to release funds for these kinds of projects. Incentives for landowners and builders will be plentiful. Using zoning restrictions as an obstacle to multiincome housing development would be nothing more than a red herring in an emergency such as the one we are in.
This chance to make real progress in easing our housing crisis across the economic spectrum needs decisive action by the county and the support of local municipalities.
If we don't seize this moment and address this critical shortage of housing, we will surely regret it in the future.