Kennewick hearing examiner backs proposed subdivision

By Kristi Pihl, Tri-City HeraldNovember 30, 2012 

A proposed 414 family home subdivision got its first stamp of approval from Kennewick this week.

Southcliffe, planned by Tri-City developers Milo Bauder and Grant Young, received preliminary plat approval from the city's hearing examiner.

The homes are planned for about 286 acres west of South Sherman Street and north of the future extension of Hildebrand Boulevard.

The subdivision will be built on about 144 of those acres, according to city documents.

That will allow the development to fit in better with the natural areas and steep slopes, according to city documents.

Areas where the slopes are greater than 40 percent have been designated as natural open space in the preliminary plat, according to city documents.

There will be no development on the north side of Thomson Hill, according to the hearing examiner's decision.

Young said the partners decided to move ahead with the subdivision because of how the Southridge area is coming together. By 1987, they already had bought all the land they needed for the project.

And Kennewick has been working to put in some infrastructure, such as streets, in the area, he said.

Work is under way to extend Steptoe Street to Fourth Avenue, and the city recently received a $3.1 million grant that will help pay to extend the road to 10th Avenue. The city also is finishing paving on Hildebrand Boulevard from Southridge Boulevard to Sherman Street.

With the eventual extension of Hildebrand to Steptoe, Young said the area is going to be coming together nicely.

Young said they are counting on slow, continued population growth to create demand for the Southcliffe homes.

Now, Young said, they will move forward on getting permits to start grading the land and putting in other services, including water.

Their goal is to break ground in the next several months, and have lots ready to sell by the end of summer.

"It's going to be a really nice community," Young said. "There is going to be housing. There is going to be retail."

They plan to develop up to 30 lots in the first phase, and the rest will be developed on a timeline determined by demand, he said.

"The size allows us to have some flexibility in terms of price planning and neighborhoods," Young said.

The lots will be sold to builders and individuals who will build the homes.

The smallest lot will be 8,885 square feet, according to city documents.

The density will be about 2.87 homes per acre, which is less than the 3 home-per-acre minimum the city has set for residential low-density zoned property.

The city council must approve the final plat of the project before the lots can be sold.

Much of the nearby property is vacant and zoned for low-density residential development, according to city documents. There is some single-family housing east and northeast of Southcliffe. Some property to the south is zoned commercial.

-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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