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Cornelius parcel could host 50 new homes if 'OK'd

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - The Fogarty family wants to develop its Cornelius land, located just south of Council Creek and west of N.W. 341st Avenue, up against the Hillsboro border. Cornelius city planners want to expand the inventory of middle-class homes inside the city and may have an opportunity to do so soon with a proposed 13.96-acre annexation that the Cornelius Planning Commission will consider at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday, Sespt. 27, in the city council chambers at 1310 N. Adair St.

“We hope to build about 50 single-family homes, similar to the Hobbs Farm neighborhood just to the west of our site,” said Ryan O’Brien, the developer representing the Fogarty Family Trust, which has long owned the site abutting the northeastern boundary of Cornelius. The Fogarty property is just south of Council Creek and west of N.W. 341st Avenue.

If the planning commission approves the annexation into the city limits, the Cornelius City Council would likely vote on it at their regular monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 17. If the Council approves the annexation, O’Brien plans to file a subdivision application to the city, and if successful, construction could begin in summer 2017 or 2018.

“The Fogarty family has wanted to develop this farm land for a long time,” said Cornelius City Manager Rob Drake, adding that the site is already in the Urban Growth Boundary.

The proposed annexation designates that two of the 13.96 acres will remain as wooded areas, Drake said. O’Brien envisions a trail network through the deciduous and evergreen trees.

Drake said O'Brien's willingness to provide the two-acre nature preserve, along with the likelihood he'll seeking Planned Unit Development (PUD) status, would provide some flexibility as to the lot size for homes on the property, which is zoned R-7.

“These are going to be nice homes, in keeping with the character of the adjacent Cornelius neighborhood,” Drake said.

In addition to the Fogarty property, the city continues to work on finishing property line adjustments for the future “Laurel Woods” development in the southeastern corner of Cornelius, near the eastern boundary of Forest Grove. The 138-acre area could, in increments over 10 years, hold about 900 homes, Cornelius Community Development Director Ryan Wells told the News-Times last summer.

The property line adjustments are the last steps before formal developments applications can begin for the site, he said.

The Planning Commission agenda for Tuesday evening also includes an amendment to the Cornelius Muncipal Code to establish procedures for regulating medical and recreational marijuana facilities.