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WS council sets May 4 for public hearing on Stonecliff Development

Jody Fleury to be spokesman for project

The White Salmon City Council has set the date of May 4 to have a public hearing to consider a "notice of intent to annexation" from Stonecliff Development, LLC.

Stonecliff is the company that previously proposed annexation and development of a portion of a 48.7-acre parcel around Jewett Creek in the hills above Bingen.

The city and Stonecliff are essentially starting the entire process over.

"Stonecliff's original petition and notice of intent has changed along the way, sometimes changing almost daily," explained White Salmon Public Works Director Wil Keyser. "In discussions with Stonecliff, it was recommended that the process begin over again."

Keyser added that Jody Fleury, a Snowden resident and chair of the Snowden Community Council, will be the new contact person for Stonecliff Development.

"There now seems to be some consistency, and it is fitting to start the process over," Keyser said.

Previously, John Gotts -- a new White Salmon resident and owner of the land in question -- has been the spokesperson for the annexation plan.

Gotts recently said he would no longer be in that role, preferring to let others make the case to the city regarding annexation and possible subdivision development later.

The city of White Salmon has delayed making a final decision on the annexation for several months, citing the need for more information about how the parcel may be developed. City officials pointed out that the parcel would represent the largest single annexation of land the city of White Salmon has undertaken. In addition, officials of the city of Bingen have raised several concerns about development of the property, including stormwater runoff, fire danger, and the steepness of the land.

White Salmon has been considering the annexation question since October 2004.

Keyser pointed out that the meeting on May 4 is not to decide whether the city will or will not annex the land into the city of White Salmon.

"It just says that `we accept your notice of intent,'" Keyser said. "Later we will decide whether to accept the annexation or not."

The council members voted 5-0 to make May 4 the date for the public hearing. The action came during the council's regular April 29 meeting at the fire station.


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