Plans are moving ahead for the development of a 353-acre housing development along Feedville Road following Monday night’s Hermiston City Council meeting.
The council, acting as the city’s Urban Renewal Agency, voted unanimously to move the development plan forward and begin seeking public comment and input from existing taxing districts.
The proposed development, formerly known as the Hayfields, but is now called Prairie Meadows, will be at the former C&B Feedlot. As many as 1,300 new housing units could be built over time with space donated by the developer for parks, trails, a food truck pod and other amenities. The developer, Luke Pickerill of Monte Vista Homes, will also donate land to be set aside for a future school and fire station.
Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan said the land has sat undeveloped for many years due to the prohibitive cost of installing necessary utilities, which are estimated to be $9 million.
“I don’t care how deep-pocketed a developer may be, that’s a tough pill to swallow,” said Morgan. “It simply needs public investment to drive the private investment behind it.”
The most expensive component of the utility costs is related to water and wastewater utilities. The project will require construction of a 2-million gallon reservoir, 6,000 feet of transmission piping, and significant upgrades to the Joseph Booster to supply the reservoir. All told, the water improvements alone are estimated to cost $6,210,000. The plan also calls for installation of 5,300 feet of sewer main at a cost of $2,806,000.
A new urban renewal district – the South Hermiston Urban Renewal Agency or SHURA – is being proposed to help pay for the project.
The new district diverts the tax revenues from new development within the area to the Urban Renewal Agency, rather than allowing them to go to existing districts, like the city or county. That revenue is what is used to pay for projects and programs in the SHURA plan. But the Hermiston School District’s recent bond, as well as Umatilla County Fire District #1’s recent bond would not be impacted.
What is ultimately driving the effort is the need for new housing units in Hermiston, said Morgan.
Housing development has been a council priority every year since 2017, and during that time, nearly 600 housing units have been developed. So far in 2022, there have been 142 new housing units built.
“It’s all about increasing available land so we can try as best we can to hold down the costs for housing developers and ultimately the homebuyers,” said Morgan.
Pickerill said he plans to build housing units that vary in size and cost. He expects lots as small as 4,000 square feet with homes up to 1,400 square feet, and lots as big as 12,000 square feet with homes up to 3,000 square feet. He also plans to build multi-family units and senior housing.
“We definitely want to provide housing for the local workforce,” he said.
The development will also include land for future commercial development, said Pickerill.
“We’re basically building a town here that, in terms of population, is bigger than Stanfield,” he said.
Between now and October, the plan will be open for public comment. The Hermiston City Council will hold a hearing on the project on Oct. 10 before voting on it at the Oct. 24 meeting.
We definately have a need for more housing. However there is also a need for low cost housing. People are moving here from all around but the biggest complaint is they can’t find affordable housing.
My other concern is will this raise the already high housing tax.
Concerned with the entire area’s infrastructure
Hermiston DO NOT PUT THE CART AHEAD OF THE HORSE ….. AGAIN ….. All the new construction already in that vicinity ( Wolfe Run crammed houses, Plus 8 new private homes
and High School classes building homes. 30 plus Armand Larvie and Desert view Schools built . All in a very small area. This new development is squashing a ALREADY OLD NOT MODERNIZED INFRASTRUCTURE . Traffic will be the LEAST OF OUR CONCERNS ! Setting up the area for development is a need , NO QUESTION. Making sure it is planned far better than improvements in the past history of the planning and building departments . This IS A ABSOLUTE NECESSITY ! Gettman Road was granted the monies to pave , gutters, sidewalks
Completely modernize the area for the new Schools so children could walk and be safe to and from both Schools. INSTEAD … COUNTY WORKERS GRATED and SEAL COATED
GETTMAN ROAD . Traffic is so non stop all day and night due to Limited West to East Streets available to get from one side of Town to the other. Highland Avenue (highly congested) or Feedvill Road with Rail Road track crossing congestion. Where did the monies go (Grant)
to ACTUALLY IMPROVE THE ROAD TO ODOT STANDARDS…. pave, gutters,sidewalks. NOT
THE TEMPORARY BAND AID THEY ARE TRYING TO GET AWAY WITH ! INFRASTRUCTURE TO HANDLE THE DEMANDS PLACED ON IT BY ADDING A “ NEW CITY “ LARGER THAN STANFIELD IN A RELATIVELY SMALL AREA. That CANNOT HANDLE THE LOAD OF VEHICLES IT HAS ALREADY 11 th Street / Buttercreek Hyway is WORE OUT NOW.
THINK IT THRU HERMISTON ! THEN
DO IT RIGHT !!!
Your exactly right Jackie! Not enough east west access at all in that area and really unsafe for kids going to school!
TRAFFIC CONGESTION WILL BE HORRIBLE! Plus how much MORE can city taxes go up? It’s been a while but last time I checked Hermiston was the HIGHEST taxed city IN OREGON!!! Then another tax hike happened and where will we get water? Has you water bill gone up already?
I would encourage anyone considering this to get feedback from folks that have purchased homes at Mr. Pickerill’s previous developments. I’m a resident of Monroe, Oregon that purchased from Monte Vista Homes last year. I and many others in our development had a horrible experience. Sloppy, poor craftsmanship was the least of our issues. Ask too many questions and they will not hesitate to threaten termination of your contract. This happened to us after we had already sold our home and were weeks from moving into our new home. We had to retain an attorney just to prevent Monte Vista from terminating our contract, based on a false (and illegal) “company policy”. Here we are almost a year after moving in, still waiting on repairs for multiple issues. This is true for many of our neighbors as well.Not to mention, in just 9 months, they went through 4 different general contractors. My husband even reached out to Mr Pickerill, giving him feedback on our experience…Crickets. This company has zero integrity and sadly, only cares about the bottom line $$$. I would advise anyone against building a home with this company, let alone a whole town!