The Aberdeen City Council’s decision to reject a rezone that would have allowed multi-family housing units on top of Think of Me Hill has been appealed to Grays Harbor Superior Court by the owner of the acreage, Ed Christensen. The land is currently zoned for single-family housing.
The appeal was filed against the city April 11 and is called a Land Use Petition.
The petition challenges the city’s interpretation of the zoning code and cites prior land-use approval for single family zoning of some 200 acres given by the city to Christensen’s company, Aberdeen Landing LLC, back in 2007.
Aberdeen City Attorney Eric Nelson doesn’t agree with the petition’s claims.
Original development of the acreage was halted for economic reasons, Christensen has said. His latest request, for the multi-family designation for some 74 acres would make the project more economically feasible, he has said.
The rezone was endorsed by the Planning Commission and city staff. The city council held an emotional quasi-judicial hearing on Feb. 12 when residents vehemently opposed it. The council voted in the majority to reject the rezone in a resolution on March 26.
“I am pretty upset with the whole city right now,” said Christensen after the rejection. “They weren’t speaking to the criteria of the rezone.”
Aberdeen Landing will ask the court at the initial hearing to set dates to submit the record, set a briefing schedule, a discovery schedule, if discovery is to be allowed and for a hearing or trial on the merits, Nelson said.
The initial hearing may be waived if the parties agree to a stipulated order, he added. The initial hearing must be scheduled no sooner than 35 days and not later than 55 days after April 11, Nelson said.
Erin Hart, 360-537-3932, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @DW_Erin