The Dalles City Council confirmed a trend at last night’s meeting. If you live in The Dalles, you’ll find the city getting denser. That is, more houses in smaller spaces. Last night the city considered a remand from the Land Use Board of Appeals. That was the result of a decision made by the City Council more than a year ago on June 25, 2018. At that meeting the council heard an appeal from Steve Hunt from a planning commission decision to grant to reduce the minimum lot size for a parcel located at West 13th and Perkins from 9,000 square feet to 7,475 square feet. And it’s a corner lot on which duplexes are allowed even in a low density residential zone. Developer Jonathan Blum had requested the adjustment, which brought opposition from several neighbors, who argued that it would lower property values and change the nature of the neighborhood. At that meeting last year, the city approved the developer’s request, and the Hunts appealed to the state’s Land Use Board of Appeals, or LUBA. Last month, LUBA remanded the decision back to the city to explain further why it had granted the adjustment.
At the hearing last night Lorene Hunt argued that in granting the adjustment, the city had violated a section of the code requiring that any adjustment lot sizes in low density residential zones should not be allowed if they increased the density.
But city Planning Director Steve Harris cited the city had hired a consulting firm to assess the situation. He reported that even if every single corner lot in the area was filled with a duplex, it would still be under the allowed density.
Ultimately the council agreed to reaffirm their early decision and allow the developer to go ahead. The final vote was 4 to 1, with councilor Darcy Long Curtiss voting against the rest.