Ellensburg announces ways to help population growth
ELLENSBURG, Wash.- In Ellensburg city planners finished their 20 year comprehensive plan on how to address population growth within the community.
"We are looking at over the next 20 years just under 12,000 people added to our already just about 20,000 people. So that's a pretty big population growth," said Angela Sanfilippo, Long Range Planner for the City of Ellensburg.
That's an average two percent growth rate based on the population number every year. Within the plan covers how the city will accommodate that growth, and two big factors are housing and transportation.
"Unique to our area, but also something that you are seeing Nationwide, is a lack of housing stock. Leading to very tight housing markets and low vacancy rates," said Sanfilippo.
Ellensburg has a one percent apartment vacancy rate, and a healthy housing market should range between five and eight percent. Recently an affordable housing decision was passed that implemented a .1% increase in sales tax on any taxable item to create more affordable housing for those in need in Ellensburg.
"With our low vacancy rate and that tight housing market, having more housing come in, which this would directly be able to fund some of those affordable housing, will definitively help loosen up our housing market to some extent," said Sanfilippo.
A vote was also passed that allowed the city to take over the public transit system in Ellensburg.
"Transportation is something that we need to accommodate growth. The city is actually increasing some of the routes, increasing some of the frequency of public transit," said Sanfilippo.
You can visit the Ellensburg city page for a full list of the comprehensive plan.