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Several land parcels in Sunnyside to get re-zoned

Several Sunnyside residents turned out for a public hearing Tuesday night at a Sunnyside Planning Commission meeting.

The public hearing allowed citizens to voice any concerns on the city's plan to re-zone 45 parcels of land inside Sunnyside city limits.

The 45 parcels of land equal approximately 196 acres of city property that are city parks, well locations, city offices, the library, the museum and locations of existing schools all within the corporate limits of the city of Sunnyside.

The city is proposing to change the existing zoning of these properties, from R-1, R-2 and M-1, to PF (public facilities).

Sunnyside City Associate Planner Jame Ayling told the commissioners the purpose of re-zoning the city properties is to get a more accurate count of property that is developable.

Most of the land is zoned R-1 or R-2, which means it is a residential zone even though houses will never be built in the park areas. Because these lands are considered residential, it limits what the city can claim in its Urban Growth Plan. By re-zoning the property to PF, this land would not count in the Urban Growth Plan.

One resident voiced his concern about the schools being zoned in with other businesses that have been there longer than the schools. He thought it was unfair to grandfather the schools in, which he said would give them as much say as a business that has been there much longer.

Another resident asked if the re-zoning would affect property values.

Ayling told him no, it wouldn't. He said if a person's property is next to a park, after it is re-zoned, it will still be a park.

"We have no hidden agenda," Ayling said. "Our ultimate goal is to get an accurate count of developmental property."

The commissioners accepted the recommendation by city staff to re-zone the properties. Next, the matter will go before the city council.

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