The city of East Wenatchee has projections in place to figure housing needs between now and 2050. 

Community Development Director Curtis Lillquist and staff members have taken projections from the state and figured out how many new housing units will be needed over the time frame. 

He says they’ve broken down those needs by income level as required by a change in state law. 

“Now we have to look at, how are we planning for and accommodating housing for our extremely low-income citizens, our very low, our low, our moderate and our average incomes,” Lillquist said. 

The East Wenatchee City Council has adopted the projections, which currently call for more than 2,100 new housing units by 2050 in the city’s Urban Growth Area. 

“Urban growth area” is a term used by cities and counties to define where home and business development is allowed. More development is allowed inside an Urban Growth Area. 

Lillquist says he'll be working off the numbers adopted by the city council moving forward. 

"This is what I will be using to move forward with looking at our housing element, looking at whether our urban growth boundary is sufficient, whether or not we need to expand or are we good," said Lillquist. 

Washington’s Growth Management Act (GMA) requires that cities and counties adopt zoning and urban growth areas adequately sized to accommodate population growth for the next 20 years.  

In 2021, the GMA was amended by the state legislature to require that cities and counties accommodate and plan for this population growth for all income levels. 

Lillquist and city staff members broke down the numbers to determine that 681 new housing units will be needed people in the lowest income bracket by 2050, 870 in the very low-income bracket, 464 in the low-income bracket, and 541 in the average or above bracket for a total of 2.186 new units  

In July, the Douglas County Regional Council adopted the population growth allocations from the state for the cities/towns and rural areas of the county as required by the Douglas County Regional Policy Plan. 

Lillquist and city staff members applied those numbers their calculations with the help of a tool supplied by the Washington Department of Commerce. 

East Wenatchee’s Urban Growth Area population is 31,596 and is projected to grow by more than 20 percent to 39,216 by 2050. 

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