‘Affordable’ homes…or ‘three’s-a-crowd!’?

Three plans for 3-homes-on-1-lot = a sure-to-be-controversial meeting. Sounds kind of boring: “Public Hearing Request for Conditional User Permit.” ( Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at 10 a.m. on Zoom). But a neighbor down in South OS near the Community Club is very much against one of the three plans: “Bay Side Builders is applying for a Conditional Use Permit that will enable them (to) completely clear a forested lot in the Gunderson neighborhood and fill it with 3 three story common wall row houses that will really damage the neighborhood,” Frank Byrum posted on Facebook. “…there are multiple parcels with preserved trees actively used as RV camps. This is a core value of the neighborhood and contributes to its unique character. Approving a permit to sell three story row houses would destroy this character…” Randy Peck, for one, agreed: “Plenty of commercial and multi-unit locations around. Why shoehorn something like this in a SFR area?”

Some are framing it as “affordable housing vs NIMBY’s” — although there is nothing in the applications (Bayside is the applicant for all three projects) to suggest the 3-on-1 homes will be “affordable.”

But businessman and developer Pat Brunstad pushed back with a comment on Byrum’s post, stressing this is a big-picture moment: “As Ocean Shores evolves, I believe that some serious thought should be but into planning for what goes where. As most of you know, the zoning was established when Ocean Shores was first developed. As with every evolving community things happens and people build in areas without looking at what the true zoning is. Taking that into consideration, the city now has the unique opportunity to see how the areas have developed and adapt zoning that is appropriate to the specific areas.

The dry language of the meeting (link here): “An application for 3 conditional use permits has been received by the City of Ocean Shores to construct 3 Unit, Common Wall, Residential Structures, sub-divided to allow individual ownership. Locations, CUP 21-002 Division 19A, Block 3, Lot 4 (1453 E Ocean Shores Blvd. SW), CUP 21-003 Division 21, Block 1, Lot 4 (926 Gunderson Ave. SE), and CUP 21-004 Division 17, Block 8, Lot 36 (1075 Brewer Ct. SW), Ocean Shores, WA 98569The City of Ocean Shores Hearing Examiner will hold a virtual Public Hearing on the requested conditional use permit at the following time and place:

Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at 10:00 am City of Ocean Shores

Join Zoom OnlineZoom Link

Join Zoom by PhonePhone Number: ID: 828 0236 0136Passcode: 832107

All persons are invited to appear and be heard at the public hearing. Written comments may be sent to the Planning Department, City of Ocean Shores, PO Box 909, Ocean Shores, WA 98569 and must be received by 4:00 PM, July 22, 2021. 


  1. Ted Olsen says:

    Each home guessing two cars plus visitors, parking might be a problem…


  2. Peter B Jordan says:

    I think that “conditional use” permits were invented for things that would enhance/benefit the entire neighborhood, not just the developer. We should be very judicious in granting them and make doubly sure that those most affected are aware of the potential. This seems like the “first pitch” in a game of “let’s rent out the town”. I just don’t buy the idea that these would be used as primary or vacation homes in the long run.


  3. Kate Syris says:

    Brunstad said it all. Instead of just applying for permits to build ( and no where did he mention affordable) we should be taking a look at our zoning. If it needs to evolve then we would do just that and not put the cart before the horse by randomly squeezing as many houses as possible into areas that many not be able to handle the cars, the traffic on our rumble roads, the people, the sewer, the water, the cable, nor to mention the destruction of the habitat.


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