Happy Valley is the biggest neighborhood in Bellingham, Washington in terms of population.
This fact makes it particularly interesting that the neighborhood voices are calling for more housing to be included in the neighborhood so that more families, students and homeless can have a place in Happy Valley.
The way that the Happy Valley Neighborhood Association Housing Committee is implementing more housing in the area is through accessory dwelling units, (“an extra living unit on your property, complete with kitchen, bathroom and sleeping facilities. Subject to local regulations, ADUs may be located either inside, attached to, or detached from the primary home on your property. Another common term for ADU is ‘Mother in Law’ apartment.”- http://www.archhousing.org/current-residents/accessory-dwelling-unit.html)
The benefit of adding to the perceived density in the neighborhood is a greater diversity in the community, living in an established neighborhood, easier access to services, transportations, parks and neighborhood schools.
The city of Ferndale, Washington, a nearby 20 minute drive to Bellingham, addresses the benefits of adding more housing options on other people’s land. These benefits include: Financial benefit to the homeowner such as supplemental income, offsetting mortgage payment, adds value to property and tax base of the city.
The city of Bellingham’s Planning Commission has an available map of the approved ADU situation in Bellingham as of 2015 on their website in PDF form: map-adu-neighborhood (1)
The proposed pilot program implemented this year of 2017 allows for a total of 20 detached accessory dwelling units to be established within the boundary lines of Happy Valley.
After this program is implemented, the City of Bellingham will evaluate the results and will determine if the project will be extended, changed or terminated.
Residents of the main home and the attached or detached ADU will share utilities, electrical, plumbing and heating.
No more than three persons can reside in a single ADU and the maximum number of allowed bedrooms will be two.
To stay involved with the Happy Valley community housing efforts, email HVNA board member Wendy Scherrer at: email@example.com