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2 subdivisions near golf course, off Belmont Lane, were on hold during Recession.

The city of Madras received from SGS Development for two applications for subdivisions of about 150 houses each this month. Both were planned about 13 years ago, but recent moves by the city have made the projects more attractive.

The 149-residence Sunridge subdivision is planned for a 42.66-acre area north and west of the Park Place subdivision near Belmont Lane and Culver Highway.

The Willowbrook subdivision, with 153 proposed houses, is off Birch Lane west of Highway 26 were Nine Peaks Golf Course once was.

The public has until Wednesday, Jan. 1, to comment on the Willowbrook subdivision and until Friday, Jan. 3, to comment on the Sunridge project. The city sent letters to adjacent property owners.

Both of developments had been approved years ago, said property owner Chet Antonsen, of SGS Development in Bend. Because of that, Public Works Director Jeff Hurd said the proposals will be approved by city staff unless something changes or is addressed in the public comments.

"I let it expire during the Recession because a condition of extending them is that you do significant work on them," Antonsen said.

He said the timing was in part because of the city's approval of Housing Urban Renewal District, which offers incentives for developers and builders based on anticipated tax receipts.

"A huge part of it is the urban renewal district and the city's enthusiastic approach to getting housing going," he said, "and we just feel like the timing is right."

Antonsen expects work on the first phase of Willowbrook, which comprises 71 homes, to start soon.

"It is completely reapproved with the city," he said, "and our construction engineering plans are approved with the city."

Willowbrook is on level ground, and he said the houses there will be less expensive than those at Sunridge.

The phasing for Sunridge hasn't been established yet, but it includes extending H Street to Culver Highway and up through the new subdivision.

One row will sit on a slope and will have views overlooking the city, Antonsen said. The development will continue up the hill, and the majority of the homes will be built on level ground at the top of the ridge.

While those homes will cost more than Willowbrook's, "we're going to strive to still keep the prices reasonable," Antonsen said.

The subdivisions are the first proposals under the city's Housing Urban Renewal District, which the City Council adopted in November.

On Dec. 10, the City Council also authorized Public Works Director Jeff Hurd to apply for a loan through Business Oregon to build a pump station to serve the Willowbrook subdivision.

"The cost to develop has always outweighed the return on investment for them to move forward," Hurd wrote in his request for council action. "One of the ways the city can help the project move forward is to construct the much-needed upgrade (to) the wastewater pump station on the golf course, which will serve the subdivision."

The loan, he said, will be paid back through system user fees and system development charges.

Antonsen was pleased that the city was willing to update the pump station, as well as to provide incentives for the builder, who may or may not be SGS.

"The city has done more than any city I've ever known of to attract housing that will be available to the working people of Madras, if you will," Antonsen said. "I just think that that's what it's going to take to get the housing moving."


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