300-home development would be Oregon's first 'agrihood'
A new housing development being proposed in Donald is thought to be the only one of its ilk in Oregon.
The city has scheduled two upcoming public hearings on Harvest Gardens Homestead, which is described by the developers as an "agrihood." The developers are looking at 61.6 acres located at two unaddressed properties on the southeastern edges of town, off Donald Road and Matthieu Street.
"An agrihood is a neighborhood concept; instead of building a neighborhood around a beautiful golf course, this is building a neighborhood around a beautiful farm," said Connie Lindsay, marketing and communications manager for Harvest Garden.
To fortify their understanding of this concept, the developers traveled to Arizona, California and British Columbia to visit other agrihoods and take notes.
In Donald, Harvest Garden plans for a 10.5-acre garden in the center of the neighborhood, which would include 297 single-family homes and possibly 80 multifamily units.
"We have the (multifamily) option, if we choose to, in one little corner of the development," Lindsay said. "It's hard to do any marketing research on townhouses, because there are not a lot of them in the area."
Lindsay and other Harvest Garden representatives will present details of their proposal during the next Donald Planning Commission meeting, which has public hearings scheduled. The meeting is set for 6:45 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at Donald City Hall, 10710 Main St. NE.
Donald City Manager Heidi Bell said the hearings discussions will address annexation and zone changes, along with the planned subdivision and unit development.
"Then depending on the outcome of those meetings, the date will be set for either a second hearing with the planning commission or move forward with a date in front of the Donald City Council," Bell said.
Bell added that the following council meeting is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 9.
"It is undetermined if that meeting will only be online, like the council meetings have been recently," Bell said.
If approved, Lindsay said they probably would not break ground on the new Donald development until the fall or possibly spring of 2021. She added that Harvest Garden planners think it is a good fit for the area.
"Donald is growing," she said citing expanding business with Hazelnut Growers and Marion Agriculture as examples. "With new business coming into Donald, more and more people are starting to work here, and there are not a lot of available houses."
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