Planning Commission approves annexation
Last updated 1/21/2021 at 8:55am
RITZVILLE – The City Planning Commission adopted a resolution approving annexation, land use and zoning map amendment for two lots totaling 287 acres, at their Jan. 13 meeting.
City Council accepted the proposed Grainland Acres annexation and simultaneously adopt the comprehensive plan and assume existing city indebtedness of the area to be annexed at their Dec. 15 meeting.
The lots, part of the Heinemann Short Plat #1 and #2, are located east of Highway 261, south of I-90 and Webber Road. The land is owned by Derrek and Susan Schafer, whose families are multi-generational farmers in the Ritzville area.
Lot 1, approximately 84 acres located next to Big Bend Electric, is proposed to be zoned General Commercial Zone (C-2); and Lot 2, approximately 203 acres, is proposed to be zoned High Density Residential Zone (R-3). The area is anticipated to consist of a mix of commercial/retail, office, and high density through low density residential. Additional, other potential uses include museums, churches, assisted living care/55-and-older living, an RV park and common/park areas.
The Schafers are planning to donate a portion of both parcels to the Public Development Authority for construction of an Ag Discovery Park.
A SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) review was submitted Jan. 7.
The proposed annexation is only partially in the urban growth boundary, and the city is working with land use attorney and city planner Alicia Ayers with SCJ Alliance to update the comp plan and a map zoning amendment alongside the annexation process.
A public road network is expected to be constructed to route auto and pedestrian traffic, with additional accesses developed to ensure local emergency ingress and egress; and city utilities will be installed within the public right of way. Most of the public infrastructure will be constructed privately by developers/landowners, and dedicated to the City of Ritzville.
City staff voiced support for the annexation based on available infrastructure and/or the potential for development, including water, sewer, law enforcement services, fire services, and traffic flow.
Council will review the recommendation from the Planning Commission at their next meeting, Jan. 19. They will then set dates for a public meeting, followed by a second public meeting 30 days later.
In other business, the Planning Commission welcomed Jeff Kissler to their board, following approval by the city council at their Dec. 15 meeting. Kissler, a 1994 Ritzville High School alum, returned to his hometown after a 23-year career in the Army. He currently works at Vets on the Farm in Spokane, serves as the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Commander and the Treasurer with the Ritzville Eagles Aerie, and volunteers with East Adams Rural Health as a state certified Emergency Medical Technician.
Also serving on the Planning Commission board are Dwight Olson, contractor; Rick Sawyer, realtor; Rick Koss, owner of Wheatland Waste; Bill Markum, retired railroad and prior council member; and John Rankin, owner of Flying Arts Ranch.