There is a proposed student dormitory project (University Ridge) by Ambling University Development moving forward in the planning approval process. This project, sited on 11 acres owned by Irv and Joan Hawley of Lopez Island, is intended to house almost 600 students, most likely from WWU. The acreage is located between Puget and Nevada streets, just north of Consolidation Avenue.
The planned four-building dormitory, surrounded on three sides by single family homes, will bring traffic and noise throughout the day and surely into the evenings. WWU has nothing to gain from this project. In fact, the on-campus housing already suffers from vacancies and loss of income in the third trimester of each academic year.
As the city works to find areas in which it can use the infill tool kit, the buildout of four five-story dormitories in this transition zone between single family and multi-family areas makes no sense to me. Moreover, there has been no assurance that the only residents of this complex would be students. The proposed rents of $650 and above for one room in the four-bedroom and two-bedroom units are not cheap. We need sensible, affordable housing but this project does not provide it.