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Grandview unhappy with county decision

GRANDVIEW - Planning commissioners in Grandview unanimously agreed last night to appeal the county's decision regarding an addition of property into Urban Growth Area boundaries.

In updating the UGA, which is a 20-year plan for future growth, the city had recommended including land south of Grandridge and Pleasant Roads, from the canal to Ashley's Catering.

The county denied the addition to the plan unless the city was willing to remove another area, north of the city, from the future growth area.

County planners recommended taking from the plan the land, which is north of the Public Works Department near Olmstead and Willoughby roads. This land had already been included in the plan in the past. Grandview's planning commission invited residents who would be affected to speak to the matter.

They weren't happy.

"The exclusion of our property from the planned urban growth of the city of Grandview is unreasonable," Pete and Carole Schlotfeldt stated in a letter to the planning commission. "This amendment to the boundaries could subsequently devaluate our investment in the future, and we are opposed to this change."

Potential devaluation of property was a resounding theme expressed by landowners Ron and Shirley Grow, Ben and Sharon Fisher and Armando Castillo.

Castillo asked Yakima County Planner Phil Hoge, who was present at last night's meeting, why it is that the county doesn't seem to realize the impact of growth the Wal-Mart Distribution Center will have. "This D.C. here is going to have a workforce that's double (what it is now). This town is going to be growing quicker than you're anticipating," he said.

The county made the recommendation to remove the land south of the city from the plan based on population projections from a 2002 study, as well as the fact that the city has a surplus of vacant land in the current plan.

Following the comment period, Planning Commission Chairperson Dennis Byam said, "The mood is we lose by negotiating (with the county). We'll leave the area (north of town) in and plead our case with Yakima County commissioners for an increase to the area on the south side of town."

Planning commissioners last night also were given a brief draft update on the comprehensive plan for Grandview Parks and Recreation.

The plan serves as a vision for what residents and city staff want. Having a plan in place (once it's approved) also can serve as an advantage when applying for grant funding. Once the plan is approved, it can pave the way for capital improvement projects.

Potential projects for 2007-2012 include a five-year phased project for an aquatics facility, restroom renovation, bike and pedestrian trail development, playground equipment, tennis court resurfacing and Country Park Amphitheater improvements and expansion.

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