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Townhome development proposed
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A proposed multi-family development may help the housing market in the city of McMinnville.

McMinnville’s Board of Zoning Appeals has approved a special exception request that will allow commercial property located off Black Street and Old Viola Road to be used for multi-family housing. The proposed development could provide up to 70 townhomes. 

“This property is zoned C-2 so this is a use available as a special exception,” said city planner Katie Kemezis. “The developer intends to do 60 to 70 townhomes in 11 to 13 buildings. This is well within what the standards would require.”

Black Street is located between On the Way Market and the former Hillis Grocery on South Chancery Street. The lot is 7.96 acres and also has frontage on Old Viola Road. 

Griggs & Maloney, an engineering, planning and environmental consulting firm, is the design team over the project. 

Representative Kevin Chastine says the range is a maximum number based on current estimates, but the actual number of townhomes has yet to be determined.

“No matter how we’ve looked at it, in this point in time, those have been the maximum numbers that we think we can actually get on the lot with a good design and a good project,” said Chastine. “If you’ll look at it, the lot has a very unique shape. It’s almost rectangular and narrows down in the middle. The shape is part of what is controlling the density. That’s what we are working through.”

Consideration has been given, said Chastine, to making two separate developments – one off Black Street and one off Old Viola Road – or cutting the development size down and constructing a road through it. 

“I’ve spoken with the engineers and that’s kind of what they are dealing with right now,” said Chastine.

Board of Zoning Appeals member Jerry Williamson said, “It looks like it would be better to do it in two separate developments. If I were doing it, I would consider that.”

Williamson, Jim Brock, Joey Haston and David Marttala unanimously approved the request for a special exception. 

However, this was step one in the city’s approval process. Developers must present actual site plans to McMinnville Regional Planning Commission for approval.