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City Council approves master plan study for development of Sunnyside's newest business park

What's the best way to divvy up 150 acres into manageable lots for business and industrial activity all the while making sure it's hooked up for utilities?

That's the answer the city of Sunnyside is looking for in a master plan study that will review the 150-acre Monson property situated between the city limits and the community of Outlook.

Sunnyside purchased the former cattle feedlot just over three years ago in an attempt to eliminate the odor and develop the land into a business park.

The city calls the stretch of land the West Sunnyside Business Park and during its regular meeting last night, Monday, the city council agreed to hire the Yakima engineering firm of Huibregtse, Louman Associates to conduct the master plan study.

Last year Sunnyside received a $25,000 grant from the Yakima County Development Association to pay for the research.

Interim City Manager Mark Kunkler told council the study will work much like one the Port of Sunnyside conducted for its Midvale Road property.

When complete, the master plan study will provide the basic engineering information needed for developing and selling the property.

Kunkler said engineers are looking at some of the information provided through the Buxton Study conducted two years ago, which identified 50 businesses that might possibly be a good fit for Sunnyside.

Public Works Director Jim Bridges said the study needs to happen, even if a developer wanted to buy some of the land, to avoid a haphazard patchwork of lots.

The next step will be for Huibregtse, Louman Associates to present the master site plan results to council during a public meeting.

After last night's meeting, Kunkler said it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of two to five years before the former Monson property would be developed.

In the meantime, Sunnyside still needs to annex the land into its city limits.

But that doesn't mean the former feedlot won't be put to use while awaiting development. Kunkler said the city will on an interim basis probably lease the land to farmers for growing alfalfa.

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