Condo Development Stalled: Small victory for S. Richland homeowners

RICHLAND -- Dale Atkinson still hasn't changed his mind, from when the Meadow Hills condo proposal was first brought up two years ago.

"The logic of it just doesn't make sense."

He was just one of many South Richland homeowners at Wednesday's Richland Planning Commission meeting, urging the city to once again deny the plans.

Neighbors say new condos will not only impact their home values, but increase traffic, and decrease the natural beauty that brought them to Meadow Hills in the first place.

Developers originally proposed 54 units in 2010. But when the city was ready to deny the request, they withdrew it altogether. And now, the plans have downsized to 44 units built directly into the terrain, while still being considered "low density" housing.

Terence Thornhill is the architect of the condo plans, and says "on flat terrain, seven stories would be intimidating. But these caress the hillside. They fall into the hillside."

But even the Planning Commission had a hard time deciding how much is too much for the area. Three members voted to approve the plan as it was presented, while four voted against it.

All agreed development is necessary. But in the end, the Commission passed a resolution urging City Council to only approve the proposal if is downsized even more. They suggested a maximum of four floors, instead of the proposed seven. Several members also said they would be more inclined to approved the plan if total units were closer to 35, instead of 44.

The final decision will be made by Richland City Council.