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Annexation of more than 42 acres near airport moves forward

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Sunnyside City Planner Jamey Ayling (foreground) last night shares with the Sunnyside Planning Commission a map of city property boundaries and property under consideration for annexation.

The Sunnyside Planning Commission last night (Tuesday) decided to forward to the boundary review board plans for annexing more than 42 acres near the Sunnyside Airport.

After the board reviews the proposed annexation, the Sunnyside City Council will have its chance at approving it.

The property, shared City Planner Jamey Ayling, sits within the city's urban growth area and will close a gap in the city's boundaries, making the boundary easier to identify.

"This is one of those annexations that started a while ago," he told the commissioners, stating the annexation began with two acres. The annexation was put on hold as the planning commission considered the airport overlay, and additional property owners joined the annexation during that time.

"The zoning at the county level is all industrial, but the southern properties (included in the annexation) are residential and the remaining properties are mixed use," shared Ayling.

He explained there are parcels that abut industrial property and told the commissioners it makes sense to zone those properties for industrial use, as well.

An Urban Residential Agriculture (URA) zoning was desired by the residential property owners.

Roland and Mary Ann Bonny own just under 10 acres of the land under consideration for annexation.

Their representative, Tom Biehl, explained to the commissioners the property owners do not wish to change the zoning for the land.

Jay Hester, representing the Port of Sunnyside, stood before the commissioners and said the port district also seeks to have a parcel annexed. That land would be included in the area zoned industrial.

He said the only concern the port district has is whether or not those seeking URA zoning would subdivide their properties.

Ayling addressed that concern, stating the properties are the right acreage for multiple residences, but they are long and narrow.

"They don't have enough frontage," he explained, stating the lots would need access to the public roadway to be subdivided and five properties are too narrow to provide legal access.

Commissioner Brent Cleghorn clarified the statements made by Ayling, noting it would not be cost-effective for the property owners to subdivide their land.

Barbara Johnson has been struggling with the zoning of her property for more than a year. She sought to sell her property last year, but the county zoned it for industrial use. The banks would not finance the purchase of her home because of the designation.

She wishes to be annexed into the city of Sunnyside with a URA zoning. That, she said, would allow her to sell her home.

Johnson told the commissioners she has also consulted with a contractor because of the industrial use zoning and was informed the size of her property is not conducive to industrial use.

Two more property owners stood before the commission, sharing their hopes of being annexed into the city before the commission heard further suggestions from Ayling.

He said one property, owned by Joel Gonzalez, has both a residence and a shop for his trucking company. That property, suggested Ayling, should be zoned for light industrial use.

"The home would be a legal non-conforming use," he noted.

Ayling told the commissioners the annexation should move forward and when zoning for each of the properties is considered, the land between East Edison Road and the airport should be zoned for industrial use. One property on the south side, Gonzalez's property, should be zoned for light industrial use and the remaining parcels should be considered for residential zoning, he said.

The Sunnyside Planning Commission approved the recommendation to forward the annexation to the Boundary Review Board and then to city council for consideration.

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