The Hood River Planning Commission June 21 approved a small development — two houses and eight townhouses — on the hillside on E. Eugene Street. The approval includes 47 conditions which must be met by the Portland developer, Inland Pacific Oregon, to continue the project.
The commission approved the development 3-0 with one abstention, after a public hearing in which several neighbors warned of traffic problems on the narrow neighborhood roads, blind corners, and potential sinkholes.
Conditions the developer must meet include conducting a geological analysis and addressing potential problems on the steeply-sloped site, and providing additional setback and building height information.
Commissioner Tina Lassen abstained in this, her last meeting with the commission, saying the 47 conditions are an indicator of problems with the site. “It’s a hard stop for me,” she said. “It’s a fool’s errand to add 10 more homes in an area where two of the main streets into the development are the width of a driveway.”
But the small size of the development also limits the planning commission’s authority to require the developer to improve roads, according to Planning Director Dustin Nilsen. If developers meet the conditions and abide by City of Hood River building codes, the commission should approve the plans, he said.
Chairman Mark Frost agreed that the roads need work, and that city should be made aware of the problem.
“Yes, the traffic will get worse, but it’s within the legal confines of the city’s codes,” he said of the development.
Five of the seven commissioners attended the beginning of the virtual meeting. Commissioner Bill Irving recused himself and left the discussion and the vote because he said he had assisted the buyer with the sale.
The small development is one of at least five similar small developments that will come before the planning commission this year, not counting preparations for the Rand Road development on Hood River city and county property, according to Nilsen. That development, now in its early stages, could include more than 100 dwellings, including apartments, single-family houses and townhouses.