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City plannersrecommend annexation of 26 acres near East Edison and SR-241

The Sunnyside Planning Commission last night, Tuesday, recommended the approval of annexing 26 acres into the city near the intersection of East Edison Avenue and SR-241. The property owner, George Johnson, reportedly plans to parcel out the land. One prospective buyer, the planning commission learned, is a wholesale electrical supply company.

The land is currently zoned for light industrial use and City Planner Jamey Ayling told commissioners that Johnson's proposed use would fall in those guidelines. The property sits just outside of the airport overlay zone and thus is exempt from a moratorium on zoning new properties near the airport until the city can settle zoning questions.

In related news, a second property owner, Antonia Chavez, also received a recommendation for her property to be annexed along with Johnson's. Otherwise, the Chavez property, just under two acres, would be surrounded by the city limits.

The Chavez property does have a residential house sitting on it and Ayling said the residential use could continue even though the property would be annexed initially as light industrial like Johnson's. In reply to a question by Commissioner Stan Davis, City Attorney Mark Kunkler said that if the Chavez property was ever sold the new landowner could also use the house as a residence. Special permission in the form of a conditional use permit, however, would be needed in order for the house to be remodeled or expanded.

As with the Johnson acreage, the Chavez property also sits outside the airport overlay zone. The commission's recommendation to approve the annexation now moves to the state's boundary review board before coming back to the Sunnyside City Council for formal approval.

In regards to the airport, commissioners expressed frustration at the slow pace in settling land use issues for property in that area. The city's zoning moratorium expires in March, about three months from now. Kunkler said a firm the city hired to research an overlay plan should complete its work in time for the next Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009. He said additional information will provided at that time from the Washington State Department of Transportation.

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