South Richland annexation progresses

The Richland City Council is making fast progress toward annexing nearly 2,000 acres on the south side of Badger Mountain.

The council on Tuesday held a public hearing on proposed land use regulations for the massive development, which is being planned in its entirety now even though it will take 20 years to build.

The proposed regulations would essentially give the development its own zoning code in replacement of the usual city regulations -- governing things like design standards for houses, shops and other buildings.

Loren Combs, attorney for developer Nor Am, said the alternative set of regulations is more detailed and specific than the city's zoning code.

"One of the things we promised you ... is that what you were seeing is what you were going to get," Combs told the council. "This is the document that does that."

He added the process for the alternative regulations would work just like the regular zoning regulations, and the alternative regulations couldn't be changed without approval from the city council.

"This is going to be law," he said.

The council is scheduled to make a decision about the proposed land-use regulations and annexation at its Nov. 16 meeting.