MONMOUTH — Monmouth councilors approved annexing 43.45 acres into the city Nov. 17 to accommodate a low-density housing project of developer Randy Myers of Brownstone Land Inc. of Lake Oswego.

The parcel is located east of Highway 99W, north of Gentle Woods Park and south of Hoffman Road.

Madeline Fisher of Monmouth expressed concern about the development in written testimony submitted to the council in advance of a public hearing before councilors took action.

“This parcel is prime farmland and has been very productive for more than 100 years,” Fisher wrote.“However, the city has made it known that it is running out of space for housing, the parcel is close to the area already developed, and it would provide increased tax revenue to the city and county.

“Any development must protect Monmouth’s wetlands, the riparian area along Ash Creek, have run-off management that would not negatively impact the creek or groundwater, and provide open-space parkland,” she added.

Suzanne Dufner, Monmouth’s community and economic development director, told councilors that Myers would still need to provide an environmental impact study and other specifics to the council before obtaining final approval for his project.

“The proposed zoning for the property upon annexation is low-density residential, which is consistent with the existing low-density residential comprehensive plan map designation on the property,” she said in her staff report to the council.

The Monmouth Planning Commission held a public hearing on the request Nov. 4 before recommending approval of the annexation.

Dan Farnworth said during the hearing he’s concerned about the conservation easement, the extension of Craven Street, and traffic that will come through on Craven. He also expressed concern about the amount of money that will be spent to put a bridge across Ash Creek.

There were no other comments during the public hearing.

Commissioner Donna Cable asked about the Ash Creek crossing, and Dufner responded that specifics about the crossing would come with Myers’ formal subdivision application. She added that Myers would have to develop the crossing.

Dufner told councilors the city’s most recent housing needs analysis concludes that additional low-density residential land is needed inside the city limits to meet projected housing needs through the year 2039.

“The city currently has approximately 47 acres of vacant residential land inside the city limits,” she said in her report. “The housing needs analysis projects a need for 170 acres of low-density residential land over the next 20 years, thus requiring an additional 123 acres of land to be annexed inside the city limits. Annexation of the subject property will add to the availability of the city’s residential land supply and provide additional opportunities for housing upon development.”

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