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Locals Line Up To Oppose High Density Development

Locals Line Up To Oppose High Density Development

    The application for a controversial high-density, multi-family complex at the intersection of CR 450 NE and Fletcher Road in Umatilla was due before the Umatilla City Council on Tuesday night, as the project’s applicant was set to pursue a zoning change on the estimated 10 acre site. 
    However, when the item came up on the council’s agenda, attorney Alison Yurko, representing Fletcher Grove Development, LLC, requested the hearing on the application be moved to March 7.  The purpose of the request was to allow the developer time to meet with residents in the area of the project to hear their concerns.
    “Meet with the neighbors,” said Yurko while requesting the delay, which was approved by the council.
    The proposal has been met with stiff resistance from both residents near the site of the proposed development and those in the broader community fearing the impact of the high-density development on Umatilla. 
    After the push back, and the potential that the proposal could be voted down Tuesday night by the council, the developer announced plans to host a community wide meeting to discus the property, the project, and presumably seek common ground on a plan that meets both the developer and community’s desires.
    Yurko, however, declined to discuss any particulars of the potential public gathering after Tuesday’s meeting, including a date for the meeting.  Instead, she deferred any further discussion on the topic until the meeting is held.
    Residents in the area of the development, as well as residents of the broader community were on hand at the meeting even though some had been advised in advance that the topic was being pushed to March.
    “I don’t mind growth,” said Jimmy Merrill, who lives on Fletcher Road across the street from the proposed development.  Merrill, however, said the current zoning on the site, medium density with single family homes allowed, is preferable to the apartments that are being proposed.
    “I’d like it to stay the way it is.”
    If approved as proposed, the property could hold up to the equivalent of 12 units per acre, with plans for a 116-unit multi-family/apartment complex consisting of two bedroom apartments. City documents indicate the apartments would have net living areas of 959 square feet, within five buildings.  Buildings would be two stories tall and up to 35 feet high.  Several amenities have also been proposed, including a paved trail, two pavilions, a clubhouse, and a dog park.