Housing Work Plan

Housing Work Plan, 2021 update_Page_1 Opens in new windowSoon after adoption of the City’s Comprehensive Plan (Plan) in late 2016 City Council prioritized the list of code amendments necessary to implement the Goals, Objectives, and Policies of the Plan.  Council prioritized completion of code amendments aimed at helping our most vulnerable citizens (i.e. homeless and those needing subsidized housing) first.  These citizens were prioritized primarily because the regulations to assist these groups take longer and are more difficult to put into place, and because the City has a disproportionate amount of cost burdened households as compared to Skagit County and the United States.  


What has been done 2016 - 2020:


  • Adopted Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan with data and analysis well beyond statutory requirements to ensure focus remains on vulnerable populations and those needing subsidized housing.  Also included a focus on minorities and the greater impacts they are facing.
  • Adopted new development regulations aimed at VULNERABLE POPULATIONS allowing Permanent Supported Housing (Chapter 17.67 MVMC), Temporary Homeless Encampments and Safe Parking (Chapter 17.210 MVMC), and Severe Weather Shelters (Chapter 8.50 MVMC).
  • Adopted new development regulations aimed at creating SUBSIDIZED HOUSING with Chapter 17.73 MVMC.  This new Chapter allows significant (50% to 100% bonus densities) if subsidized housing is created.  

 Other affordable and subsidized housing regulations that have been adopted include all of the following:

  • Ordinance 3754:  reducing traffic impact fees - ensuring city fees are as low as possible is important to the production of affordable housing.
  • Ordinance 3776:  revisions to procedural codes to allow electronic plan review - permit time frames are important when developers are trying to create affordable housing.
  • Ordinances 3748, 3749, and 3750:  adopted the South Kincaid Subarea Plan, rezoned 79 parcels and created a new zoning district.  This new subarea and its associated regulations will lead to the creation of hundreds of new multi-family residential units that would otherwise not have been allowed.  Increasing the City’s supply of multi-family housing has been identified as an affordable housing issue.
  • Ordinance 3775:  adopted amendments to the C-3 and C-4 zones to remove the density limits for multi-family units in these zones.  As stated above, increasing the City’s supply of multi-family housing has been identified as an issue.  
  • Ordinance 3802:  adopted a new Chapter to the Mount Vernon Municipal Code (Chapter 17.73) that offers significant density increases in zoning districts allowing single-family, multi-family and Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) in exchange for the creation of subsidized housings for those earning 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and below:       
    •           Single-Family Zones 50% density bonus
    •           Duplex Zones 100% density bonus
    •           Multi-Family Zones 100% density bonus
    •           PUDs 100% density bonus
  • Ordinance 3802:  also adopted regulations allowing larger ADUs through an administrative process
  • Ordinance 3802:  also adopted regulations to allow Zero Lot Line Townhouse Subdivisions

On September 25, 2017 BERK consulting conduced interviews with local housing stakeholders - click HERE to read more

Click HERE to view the presentation provided to the City Council on September 18, 2017      

Click HERE to read the staff briefing provided to Council on January 18, 2018

Click HERE to view the initial Housing Affordability Program Code Suggestions 


  • Video of the 9/18/19 Council Committee presentation HERE
  • City Council adopted work plan infographic HERE
  • Powerpoint from the 9/18/19 Council Committee presentation HERE
  • 9/18/19 Council Committee information packet HERE
  • Map: Multi-Family Development Potential HERE
  • DRAFT (v. for 11/19/2019 Planning Commission Hearing) Ordinance for Review and Comments HERE
  • SEPA Determination and Notice of Public Hearings HERE
  • Planning Commission Staff Report with Proposed Code at 11/05/2019 hearing HERE
  • Planning Commission Staff Report with Proposed Code at 11/19/2019 hearing HERE
  • City Council Materials with Proposed Code for 12/11/2019 hearing HERE