By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

County planning commission to hear two Amity-area applications

Two hearings are on the docket for Thursday evening’s meeting of the Yamhill County Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in room 32 of the Yamhill County Courthouse, 535 N.E. Fifth Street, McMinnville. The public may attend in person or by zoom. A zoom link is located in the agenda, on the county’s meetings page, Copies of the packet materials are also available on the meetings page.

In the first hearing, Bryce and Cherish Roberts are seeking a Comprehensive Plan amendment of a two-acre parcel at 9155 S.W. Laughter Lane near Amity, from Very Low Density Residential to Industrial. The Roberts are also asking for a zone change, from Very Low Density residential to Light Industrial.

The couple currently operate an electrical contracting business, Green Power Electrical Contractors Inc., on the property, as a home occupation business, but are seeking to expand.

In the second hearing, Orchard and Vineyard Supply LLC is seeking a comprehensive plan amendment for an 11-acre parcel at 16700 Highway 99W near Amity, from Public to Industrial, and a zone change from Public Assembly Institution to Light Industrial.

The site was originally designated for the Mid-Valley Workshop and Rehabilitation Center.

Orchard and Vineyard Supply “has several locations throughout the USA offering various services as well as retail locations,” according to the staff report.

Currently, its locations in Yamhill County are divided between McMinnville and Lafayette. Now, however, the company wants to combine them in one location.

The county staff report says that will require making some policy decisions. It notes that the county’s goals and policies laid out in its Comprehensive Plan are not approval criteria, but that they are required to be considered.

“It is a fact that some of the goals and polices conflict with one another,” the report says. “They are simply to be used as a guide to aid decision makers. … Therefore, the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners would need to decide whether it is more appropriate for the 11-acre lot to be preserved for public use or if it is better suited for industrial development.”

Other possible public assembly institution uses, the staff report says, include “churches, auditoriums, armories, youth centers, social halls, fairgrounds, group camps and schools.”

It says that “many of these uses would have far greater traffic impacts to the transportation facility than the proposed use.”

The report notes that the county’s goals and policies call for locating industrial development within urban growth boundaries, “to the greatest extent possible.”
The Mid-Valley Workshop site is not within an urban growth boundary.

However, the report notes, it “is located approximately less than one-mile from the Amity city limits and along a stretch of Highway 99W that includes a mix of Heavy Industrial and farm use, so much of the necessary infrastructure is in place for the transition of this property to be used for the farm supply store, warehouse and services.”

In addition, it says, the location adjacent to the highway “is ideal because it efficiently facilitates the delivery and pick-up of farm supplies and materials.”

The company provided the county with an analysis of 19 other parcels zoned for light industrial in the county, but the staff report says “many of them are smaller in size and already dedicated to specific uses that are serving the communities surrounding these Light Industrial parcels.”

None of them, according to OVS, would work as well as the proposed site.

The county code also calls for making sure that water and electrical services will be readily available for industrial sites, but the staff report says that is also not a concern.

“The application states that a well is already in place on the property which could meet the needs of the proposed business,” it says. The company will need a permit to put in a septic system.

Because the area already has several light industrial and commercial uses, including a seed elevator and wineries, “the infrastructure in the surrounding area is fairly extensive and designed to support the industrial and retail businesses of a similar scale to the farm supply business described by the applicant,” county staff concluded.

In the first hearing, the staff report notes, “the applicant’s business … involves providing electrical service to the local area.”

This will also involve a policy decision, the report says, because “the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners would need to decide whether it is more appropriate for the 2-acre lot to be preserved for rural residential use or if it is better suited to rural industrial development.”

Like the OVS proposed site, the Roberts home is not inside an urban growth boundary. However, the staff report notes, it is “located approximately 300 feet west and 700 feet south of the Amity city limits and along a stretch of Highway 99W so much of the necessary infrastructure is in place for the transition of this property from residential land to Light Industrial operation and use.”

The parcel is bordered on the east by the Southern Pacific Railroad and Highway 99W, the report notes.

“The Applicant’s business has operated onsite for many years and there is no record of the electrical contracting business being incompatible the surrounding residential lots,” it says. It notes the Roberts are not requesting any additional services, but intend to hire more employees.

“There are no emissions or other activities occurring at the site that would adversely impact the air, soil, or water quality of the parcel or surrounding lands,” the report states. “The operation of the existing business does not lead to harm to wildlife or otherwise compromise the wellbeing of the natural environment in the surrounding area because there is no pollution generated or other emissions created in conjunction with the business that could harm the natural environment.”


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