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About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (April 22, 2017)
Saturday, April 22, 2017
OFF PAGE ONE
RIVERFRONT: Study revealed Pendleton could support 90 more for-sale units
Continued from 1A
ALL 2017 CAMRYG IN GTOCK *
N.W. Sixth St.
N.W. Seventh St.
N.W. Eighth St.
N.W. Ninth Street
4 , 000
Riverfront land up for development
N.W. 10th Street
as neighborhood children build tree
forts, evidenced by wood planks
nailed to various trunks.
When the Pendleton Planning
Commission announced in January
it was holding a public hearing on a
zoning procedure that could change
the nature of the land, Peg Willis
went to voice her opposition.
The city had identiﬁ ed a more
than four-acre parcel by the river it
owned through the Pendleton Devel-
opment Commission as a prime
piece of property to sell to a potential
The city requested that the
commission approve division of
the parcel, cleaving off most of
the southern portion that lies in the
ﬂ ood plain to remain undeveloped..
The remaining 0.58-acre chunk,
which is more accessible to utilities
and Seventh Street, would be made
available for purchase and building.
Peg Willis was the only person
to speak against the move during
the commission’s public testimony
period, not only arguing her case
from a preservationist standpoint,
but also expressing her concerns that
a new housing development would
clog on-street parking as well as the
property’s proximity to the 100-year
ﬂ ood line.
The commission listened to the
testimony but unanimously voted to
approve the division of the parcel.
After all of the research and prepa-
ration, Peg Willis called the commis-
sion’s decision “disheartening,” and
she decided against appealing the
decision to the city council because
she wasn’t a “political person.”
But neither Peg Willis nor
her husband like the thought of a
housing project down the slope from
their home any more than they did
six months ago.
The couple described how central
Pendleton sits in a geographical hole
surrounded by inclines and hills.
They much preferred one of the
city’s other expansion initiatives —
replacing the Eighth Street Bridge —
because it opened up the possibility
of providing housing growth on the
northern edge of town rather than
continuing to pack people in the
“Instead of this hole, look out
at the periphery of the town,” Jim
And while they also made the
point that preserving that section of
the river is aesthetically important to
the community, especially those who
ciently, which includes ofﬂ oading
publicly owned land unused by the
Before the meeting ended,
Turner said the city could sell the
Willises the land, although he didn’t
quote them a price.
Peg and Jim remain interested
in Turner’s offer and have contem-
plated buying riverfront land near
their house before.
Two large parcels of land near
the river, extending from south of
Northwest Seventh Street to just
past the area behind Northwest
Eighth Street, used to be owned by a
Pendleton man named Stan Simons.
The Willises approached him
about buying the land, but he was
interested in developing it and
declined their offer.
When Stan Simons died in
2011, ownership of the land was
transferred to Stansbrood LLC,
a reference to his children and a
pheasant breeding hobby.
Stansbrood is owned by Tim
Simons, the Pendleton community
development director and city engi-
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
and his two siblings.
No current plans are on the books for this section of land on the north bank of the Umatilla River in
Tim Simons said Peg Willis also
approached him about
buying the land, but
walk the Pendleton River Parkway
Given the recent
on the south side of the Umatilla, the history of large-scale
The City of Pendleton recently divided a parcel of land it owns
advanced past an
heart of the Willises’ argument is a housing development
north of the Umatilla River in anticipation of attracting a housing
in Pendleton, Turner’s
Having talked about
“(This is) not for humanity, argument holds some
development to the area.
because we don’t know humanity, weight.
land with his siblings,
but for our kids,” Peg Willis said.
Tim Simons said he
Heights subdivision on
wouldn’t think about
Tutuilla Road endured
developing the land
The Willises were eventually able years of community
N.W. Bailey Ave.
until after he retires,
to capture the attention of Mayor criticism, and that was
when he would have
John Turner, who is well acquainted before the developer
more time and it would
with the city’s housing issues as both decided to make the
be less of a conﬂ ict
a politician and a citizen.
ﬁ nal phase a 100-unit
of interest. He said
Turner has chaired two separate apartment
complex N.W. A
Stansbrood is open to
housing study committees for the instead of 24 town-
selling the land, but
city, and after he was sworn in houses.
isn’t actively soliciting
as mayor in January, he assumed
While it never
the chairmanship for the Housing came to fruition, a
l l a Commission parcel
The city has no
and Neighborhood Improvement housing developer’s
targeted for development
immediate plans to
Committee. Turner met with them, plan to build an
develop their land
and although both sides described apartment
either, with John
the meeting as cordial, neither the on an old gun range
Turner unaware of any
mayor nor the North Hill couple near Blue Mountain
recent interest from a
seemed swayed after it concluded.
Although he understood where the also drew opposition Source: City of Pendleton
Antonio Sierra and Alan Kenaga/EO Media Group
While a housing
Willises were coming from, Turner from nearby residents
said land that can be developed in 2014.
for housing is a rare commodity in
Neighborhood discomfort with units. City ofﬁ cials believe that more imminent, both Peg and Jim Willis
Pendleton, especially a piece of land new housing developments butts up housing could make commuters buy plan to challenge the city any way
in close proximity to city utilities.
against the city’s goals to provide and live in Pendleton, and make the they can if plans for condos or town-
city a more attractive destination for houses start to materialize.
Turner said that if the city nixed more housing.
housing developments because of
The most recent housing study potential employers.
Contact Antonio Sierra at
Turner said the city also faces
neighboring opposition, nothing the city commissioned revealed that
would ever get done. No one wants the Pendleton market could support pressure from constituents who feel firstname.lastname@example.org
something built next door.
125 more rental units and 90 for-sale the city needs to operate more efﬁ - 541-966-0836.
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