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Planning commission votes to annex in six residential parcels

The City of Sunnyside could very well be growing by more than five acres.

Wednesday night, the Sunnyside Planning Commission approved an annexation request that will bring six parcels of property located along Columbia and Dayton drives into the city limits.

According to City Planner Jamey Ayling, the annexation was first requested by property owners Greg and Connie Visser and Ivan and Teri White. Combined, the two properties total more than four and half acres. Ayling said the two requests for annexation were submitted to the city separately, and then combined because they are neighboring parcels.

Ayling said that upon looking at the two properties it became obvious that in order to avoid an invocation of jurisdiction by Yakima county in the matter, the city would have to look at annexing more than just the two requested properties. He explained that annexing just the two properties would create an island of county property in the middle of Sunnyside's city limits.

So instead of just requesting the annexation of the White and Visser property, Ayling said city staff is requesting that six parcels be annexed into the city.

Although there are six parcels of property up for annexation, the parcels are owned by just five property owners, including Tom and Sharon Dolan. Tom Dolan was at the meeting last night, and explained that he was interested in having his property annexed, which accounts for two of the parcels. He added that he has an agreement with the owner of the property adjacent to his, Angela Fuerte, that notes if his property is annexed she agrees to have her property annexed at the same time.

The final property owner, Genoveva Ibarra, said her only concern about the annexation was whether it would mean she would have to hook up to city water. She said she currently uses a well and is happy with that. Planning commissioner members explained that the only way she would have to hook up to city water would be if at some point in the future her well failed.

Ayling added that all of the property being requested for annexation is already hooked up to city sewer lines.

There was some concern expressed about the annexation from neighbors living on Dayton Drive. They were concerned that if the property being annexed were to be developed, and Dayton became the access road for the development it would increase traffic on their street.

After some discussion, city staff and planning commission members noted it is unlikely that if the property is developed the access road would be Dayton. Instead, it is more likely access would come off of Columbia Drive.

There was also some discussion about the zoning of the property. City staff recommended the property be annexed in with an R-1 low density residential zone. It was suggested the property, instead, be annexed with a mini ranchette zone.

Upon further investigation, Ayling noted that everything else in the area of the property in question is already zoned R-1.

"I'd think we'd want to bring the whole in as R-1 and make it consistent," said Commissioner Barry Weaver.

The Sunnyside Planning Commission voted to approve the annexation request for the six parcels, bringing the property into the city with an R-1 zone.

The annexation request will now move on to the Sunnyside City Council for its consideration.

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