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Council votes to expand Urban Growth Area

GRANDVIEW - The city council, Monday night, accepted a Planning Commission recommendation to expand Grandview's Urban Growth Area on the city's south side.

The area consists of just over 100 acres and includes nine property owners. The land would carry the zoning designation of residential should the Yakima County Board of Commissioners accept the proposal to expand the growth area.

Some members of the council expressed concern over the standard of housing within the land, which City Administrator Jim Sewell said could be annexed by the city sometime over the next 20 years.

Sewell noted that there are a few dwellings in the area which differ from the majority standard of housing in the area.

In short, a few of the homes are manufactured homes as opposed to the traditional "stick-built" homes.

"You don't know what the standard is," Councilwoman Helen Darr said of the housing in the area.

Sewell said if the land is annexed by the city communities can draft ordinances to define the standard by which homes in any given neighborhood must be built. That means the city can say a neighborhood must be comprised of single-family homes, or manufactured homes, for example, Sewell said.

This is in contrast with state law, which says manufactured homes can be placed anywhere.

"Washington laws give city councils a very big job," Sewell said.

He also expressed the need to keep options open for a variety of housing needs in the city.

"We need to work on the design standards; the housing standards," Sewell said after the meeting.

Mayor Norm Childress expressed his interest to the council for the city's need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to housing in the growth area.

Childress told the council that compatibility is the word when it comes to dealing with the homes in the area.

"We're not scared of them," he said of manufactured homes.

The city does have ample sewer and water service if the homes are annexed into the city in the future, Sewell said.

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