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City looking to donate land for homeless
Pirtle, Tim mug.jpg
Pirtle

McMinnville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen is leaning toward gifting property for the development of Prosperity Point, rather than leasing or selling it.

“I think the best course of action would be to donate the property,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle. “I would donate it outright.”

Pirtle was asked his opinion on the best path to use in transferring 6.5 acres located at 946 Sunset Point Road to HOME, a nonprofit organization that is seeking to establish a place to assist homeless in their effort to transition into permanent housing.

Alderman Rachel Kirby asked about a reversion clause that would return the property to the city if the land is not used as intended, or the organization ceases to exist. 

HOME member Bill Davis replied, “Part of our bylaws, if this fails for any reason, the property will be returned to the rightful owner, which would be the city. The only exception to that would be if anyone donated a building to be onsite that they have the ability to retrieve that building before it went back to the city.”

Pirtle discouraged a reversionary clause.

“The only complication with a reversionary clause is the possibility that in some point and time in the development you might need to borrow money to improve the property,” he said.

“It’s really hard to borrow money against a property that has a reversionary clause.”

Alderman Stacey Harvey asked about a right of first refusal agreement – a contract between the two parties that would put the city first in line to buy the property if it ever went up for sale. 

“Let me think about that,” said Pirtle. “We are going to need a survey anyway to describe the property and prepare whatever conveyance that we elect to use. While that’s being done, I’ll do a little more thinking on that. A donation is certainly the cleanest way and it gives them the ultimate latitude regarding future development of the property.” 

The long-term plan of HOME is construction of a community center and placement of tiny houses. While the houses would be used by those accepted into the program, the center will offer various educational classes meant to address any issues that may have led to their current situation so they can eventually obtain and maintain permanent residences.