Local housing market remains active

The housing market in Western Washington is staying warm in the fall months, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data.

On Camano Island, 99 homes were for sale in September, down slightly from a year ago. The median price of the 38 homes on Camano sold last month rose to $454,000 — about $50,000 more than a year ago.

In Stanwood’s 98292 Zip Code, 87 homes were on the market last month, down from 100 a year ago. There were 46 sold in September, up from 30 the previous month, and the median sales price of $440,000 was down from $458,000 a year ago.

“Buyers continue to be drawn to the area thanks to more affordable housing costs, but this influx is also driving up prices,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate.

However, there is traditionally less competition for buyers in the fall and winter, said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.

“Prices along the I-5 corridor between the Puget Sound and Portland once again outperformed as buyers seek value for money and job growth has expanded in the entire region,” said James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington.

If millennials want to own houses, Young said the logical first step in the housing ladder is increasingly outside of King and Snohomish counties “and further afield along the I-5 corridor.” 

With interest rates low and employment levels high, first-time homebuyers are acting while they can to get on the housing ladder, “even though that may mean long commutes,” Young said. 


Crab season to close Thursday

The recreational winter crab season will close in Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2 — around Camano Island and Stanwood on Thursday, Oct. 24. The crabbing season is for Dungeness, red rock, and Tanner crab.

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife announced Monday that the closure is because the quota share has been exceeded in these areas.


Designs NW a regional design winner

Some of Northwest Washington’s top architects were honored Oct. 3 at the 2019 Design Awards event in Bellingham.

American Institute of Architects, Northwest Washington Section, celebrated the best residential and commercial architectural designs available from AIA members in Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties. These projects represent the finest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance and overall integration with clients and the surrounding community.

The Honor Award is the top recognition of outstanding examples of architecture worthy of study by the entire profession. Merit Awards are given to projects worthy of regional study and Citation Awards go to projects with elements worthy of study.

• Designs Northwest Architects, Stanwood, Honor Awards for Beach Drive Studio, Camano Island, and D&D Building, Stanwood; and Merit Award for Mazama Meadow House, Mazama.

• Designs Northwest Architects, Stanwood, and HKP Architects, Mount Vernon, Citation Award for Twin Lakes Landing, Marysville.


City, county commissions to meet

Learn about city government and meet council and commission members as they make local decisions. Agendas and meeting minutes are posted at ci.stanwood.wa.us. To inquire, call 360-629-2181.

• Stanwood City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in the Stanwood-Camano School District Administration Building, 26920 Pioneer Highway in Stanwood. 

• Stanwood Planning Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, in the Stanwood Fire Station, 8117 267th Pl. NW, Stanwood. Since veteran’s day lands on Nov. 11, the Planning Commission will meet 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12.

• Island County Commissioners meet at 10 a.m. Tuesdays in Coupeville, with a videoconferencing link to the Camano Annex office, 121 N. East Camano Drive. A public comment period is scheduled the first four Tuesdays each month. See islandcountywa.gov or call 360-387-3443 to inquire.


Crematory hearing set

An appeal hearing is set for 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 25, regarding the city of Stanwood’s decision to allow a crematory downtown in the Mainstreet Business I zone.

Hearing Examiner John Galt determines details of how the hearing will be conducted.

The hearing is tentatively set to be held in the North County Regional Fire Station 99. Galt has contracted with Stanwood since around 2000 and has served many other cities, including Lynnwood, Monroe and Lake Forest Park.


Planning the future

Stanwood Planning Commission invites the public to an interactive Planning Café at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28 in the Stanwood Fire Station, 8117 2667th Street NW, Stanwood. 

On the menu at this round table event are discussions of future land uses, zoning, density, and housing types to help city staff prepare for the 2023 Comprehensive Plan Update. 

The public can visit various tables set up with interactive materials to discuss how to accommodate the population and employment from numbers forecasted for 2050. 

Café roundtable discussions will cover topics related to zoning, density, and housing types throughout the city. Participants will help identify areas for growth and discuss options for infill housing types through a series of interactive activities.

The city is looking forward to citizen involvement that will help shape the future of Stanwood.


Camano Town Hall meeting set

Commissioner Janet St. Clair will host a Town Hall meeting to share Camano Housing Workgroup’s progress in identifying priorities, challenges and solutions for affordable housing on Camano Island. Special guests from Island County: Human Services, Public Health and Planning. Q&A follows.

The town hall takes place 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 at Camano Center, 606 Arrowhead Rd., Camano.


Board of Equalization opening

Island County Board of Commissioners are accepting applications until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31 for the Board of Equalization, which renders decisions on taxpayer petitions for property tax equalization. Members are paid $100 per day for meetings held at the Courthouse in Coupeville and occasionally on Camano. Applicants should send a letter of interest and qualifications to Pam Dill, at pamd@co.island.wa.us; by fax 360-679-7381 or PO Box 5000, Coupeville WA 98239. To inquire, contact Don Mason, 360-679-7379 or donma@co.island.wa.us. 


School board to meet

Stanwood-Camano School Board will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the Administration Boardroom, 26920 Pioneer Highway, Stanwood. See stanwood.wednet.edu, School Board, or call 360-629-1222 to inquire.

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