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The Observer paper 11/21/14

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By The Observer

La Grande soon could annex land suitable for building up to 100 dwelling units.

The 7.32 acres along 20th Street which owners James and Carol Weaver seek to have annexed into the city are platted into only eight lots but could accommodate about 44 new homes if developed fully, city officials said.

At Wednesdays 6 p.m. meeting, the city council will be asked to approve the 20th Street annexation near Gekeler Lane, as well as the annexation of a narrow strip of land on the east side of the city, bordering L Avenue, owned by Bruce Rene Wise of Ashland.

The latter is a five-acre parcel zoned R-2, which permits between five and 10 housing units per acre. Depending on how that is developed, it could accommodate between 25 and 50 housing units, City Planner Mike Hyde said.

The two annexation issues have already passed their first reading before the city council.

The Weavers are seeking the annexation so city water and sewer services can be made available to the parcel. The city no longer extends such services to property outside the city limits.

The property is within the citys Urban Growth Boundary and is now zoned R-1 (low density residential).

However, the Weavers want to sell the property, and the city staff report presented to the Planning Commission Oct. 9 and the City Council Nov. 7 stated there is a chance that these 0.9 acre lots will be re-subdivided or partitioned into smaller lots in the future.

Long-term development of the area and traffic generated over time would create the need for streets to be brought up to city standards, the staff report said.

The staff has recommended the annexation be approved, stating it is considered timely and is included in the Urban Growth Boundary to help meet the citys land needs over the next 20 years.

According to a consultant to the city, A. Benkendorf of The Benkendorf Associates Corporation of Portland, there are 332 acres of buildable residential land in La Grande.

Realtor Gary Haefer of Century 21 represented the Weavers before the planning commission.

Also on the agenda for Wednesdays council meeting is the proposed vacation of parts of Jackson Avenue and Willow Street to provide for better security for Boise Cascade.


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