Photo by Ted Escobar
The first 96-bed H2A farm worker housing complex built the Yakima Housing Authority in Granger was built on the northwest corner of Cherry Hill area. The Housing Authority wants to expand up the hill from there.
As of Monday, August 6, 2018
There will be two land use hearings before the Granger City Council beginning at 2 p.m. next Tuesday, July 31, with the second, at 3 p.m., expected to encounter opposition.
The applicant is Jaquish Parker, LLC, c/o Rose Parker, 3701 Gun Club Road, Unit 24, Yakima. Rose Parker, retired, was a long-time resident of Granger.
She would be selling the property to Yakima Housing Authority, which plans to build a second H2A farm worker housing complex to go with one that was recently dedicated.
The first land use hearing will deal with Shane Stonemetz’s planned Spartan Sports Complex. It has not seemed to raise opposition.
Stonemetz has applied for a conditional use permit in a R-1 single family residential zone. Parker is asking for a zoning change from R-1 to R-2.
Granger businessman and Granger School District resident Carl Hurlburt plans to be at both hearings. He has no objection to the sports complex, but he has some questions about the housing plan.
The Housing Authority has planned for a total of around 200 units. Ninety-six of them are already up. They would be for singles, most likely men, coming here fully contracted, for about six months, and then going back.
The Housing Authority plans to use the same housing as homeless shelters in winter.
There are several reasons for the objections. First, the land in question is on Cherry Hill, the most valuable residential property in Granger.
The Eagle’s Nest development of high quality homes on top of Cherry Hill is starting to spill over the hillsides.
Hurlburt said homeowners at Eagle’s Nest are fearful property values will decline as the H2A housing goes up the hill, which is the plan.
Another challenge for residents, not necessarily on the hill, is that the Housing Authority will not be required to pay taxes on the H2A properties.
That does Granger, one of the poorer communities in the Valley no good.
Another concern is the plan to use the same complex as homeless shelters in winter. Hurlburt said residents are concerned that will burden the school system and yo-yo fashion.
Yakima has struggled with homeless problems for years. Some Granger residents are thinking Yakima simply wants to dump the problem on Granger.
The hearings, held before a hearing examiner, are expected to last about an hour each.