The owners of Del Ray Mobile Home Park in Longview are seeking a city zoning change to redevelop the land into 85 middle-income apartment units.
The zoning change would apply to all nine of the city’s general commercial districts. It would increase the maximum building height to 60 feet and allow buildings up to four stories. Under current city zoning, the maximum height in general commercial districts is 48 feet with no more than three stories.
Also under current general commercial zoning, residential uses only are allowed on the second and third floors. The ground floor must have commercial uses. This proposal would allow a ground floor mix of residential and commercial uses, and 50% of the space facing high-traffic streets would need to be dedicated to commercial use.
“The concept is to ensure ground floor spaces are available for retail storefronts, which is an important attribute of an active streetscape in downtown areas,” according to submitted documents. “However, the largest general commercial district lies between Tennant Way and Douglas Street, well away from the downtown core. There is currently very little storefront development in this district, because there is not sufficient demand for retail storefronts to stimulate their development.”
Del Ray Mobile Home Park is located in the block bordered by 11th and 12th avenues and Douglas Street and Tennant Way.
In its review of the proposal, the City of Longview found the zoning change would not harm the environment. Comments can be submitted to the city until 6 p.m. on Dec. 6. (See the full environmental review attached to the online version of this story at TDN.com.)
Scott S. Anders, an attorney representing Del Ray Properties, Inc., submitted the zoning change proposal. Larry Foster, who lives north of Seattle, owns the property.
If the zoning amendment is approved, Del Ray Properties plans to redevelop its mobile home park in the “near to mid-future,” according to the zoning change application.
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Currently there are about 75 mobile homes on the property. The 85 planned apartments would house an estimated 150 to 200 people.
“The project will be developed in stages, and the existing tenants will be invited to move into the apartments,” according to the documents.
More detailed plans would be submitted to the city closer to when the redevelopment begins. The city would also conduct a traffic study at that time.
The Longview City Council in recent years has worked to increase housing density throughout the city to encourage more development as a way to address the area’s housing crunch.
“The proposal will allow additional housing to be developed on the Del Ray property and elsewhere in the general commercial zoning district,” according to the application. “An increased supply of housing overall will lower housing impacts in the city.”
However, the loss of mobile home parks across the state has prompted warnings from tenants and nonprofit groups that low-income senior citizens may have nowhere else to go.
There are about 1,250 manufactured housing communities in Washington, according to Washington Association of Manufactured Home Owners. More than 60 closed between 2007 and 2018, displacing about 1,800 households.