During the August Manzanita City Council meeting a proposal for another housing development was brought forward for the council’s consideration. Yes, you heard that right, a third separate proposal, different from The Village at Manzanita and the other proposed Pocket Neighborhood on 3rd and Hallie.
By Brian Cameron
The proposal for this new development was brought to the council by Seventeen Enterprises, LLC., and was operating under the hopes that it would provide North Tillamook County with a sorely needed resource: affordable housing.
“I think based off of the council’s unofficial decision last night the community is very hesitant to expand its Urban Growth Boundary,” said Mike Morgan, a Planning Consulted hired by Seventeen Enterprises. “I think its unfortunate for my client that the council chose to go the opposite direction.”
The development, which was aimed at providing the Manzanita area with more affordable housing options, was entirely reliant upon the Council choosing to augment the existing Urban Growth Boundary for Manzanita to include the development on the East side of Highway 101 shortly after you begin to climb up Neahkahnie Mountain.
The area in question is undeveloped forest land that would require a great deal of other red tape to cut through if the proposal was accepted including general infrastructure like water, sewer, electrical and fiber optics to mention a few.
“The main alarm for me about this proposal is that its not currently zoned for that kind of use,” said Hans Tonjes, Manzanita City Councilor. “They’re offering some of their proposed units to be considered affordable housing but I honestly don’t think in this case it’s a big enough carrot to dangle, the amount of procedure ahead of this project would be substantial due to it being an undeveloped area.”
Currently the Manzanita Urban Growth Boundary doesn’t include the large swath of 50 acres of forestland the company hopes to develop on. Though, the process isn’t as straight forward as some might think.
Seventeen Enterprises, LLC included within their proposal to the council not only a letter from the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority pledging their support for the project but they also hoped to utilize a little known land-use provision known as the HB 4079 “Pilot Program.” HB 4079 aims to boost affordable housing by allowing two separate cities to develop affordable and market rate housing on lands currently outside urban growth boundaries without going through the normal UGB expansion process.
Ultimately the decision lies with the local City Council, and the proposal during the Aug. 9 meeting was the lynchpin to the process of whether or not the project could move forward. The council decided unanimously to not augment the UGB for Manzanita which essentially stopped the project in its tracks.
“They’re now assessing the options still available to them,” said Morgan. “At this point it’s safe to say there’s more work and details to consider with the project.”