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Village Park R-3 rezone approved

The Sunnyside Planning Commission approved, by a vote of 5-1, to change the zoning of a 30.23-acre parcel of land along Mabton-Sunnyside Highway currently owned by Village Park, LLC from R-1 to R-3. Commissioner DeAnn Hochhalter cast the lone vote against changing the zoning designation.

The land, which is currently being considered for purchase by Aho Construction of the Tri-Cities, may be developed to feature some apartment buildings along I-82, as well as single-family residential homes. It is part of the greater Harvest Village development, which is currently under construction. Although in an R-3 zone, the homes will be developed to the R-1, low density residential standard, according to City Attorney Mark Kunkler.

The first phase of the Harvest Village development was first zoned R-1 M, a mixed used designation that allows manufactured and stick built homes in one neighborhood, according to Kunkler. When the city chose to amend the designation, the property zoning was changed to R-1.

The developers at the time, still wanting to have a manufactured home development, requested a change from R-1 to R-3, a high density residential standard, which allows for manufactured home parks, according to Kunkler. The plan was to have a manufactured home park and a residential development on the property, according to Doug Gray, a surveyor working for the developer. He said later manufactured home parks fell out of favor and so the developer decided to transform the land into a stick-built housing development.

Not having any problems with the zoning, Mike Ebenal spoke up at the meeting, saying it is important that the developer maintain the drain that runs between his property and the new development. He said two of the drains have been damaged thus far.

Tom Arrowsmith, Aho Construction spokesperson, said his company plans to work with Ebenal to make sure the drain is maintained, which will prevent flooding in the development.

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