Vista Pointe developers appeal city of Medford's denial

Some neighbors not happy with revised proposal for east Medford subdivision

Developers have appealed the city Planning Commission's denial of a 104-lot housing development on 29 acres in east Medford.

Some homeowners near the new subdivision, called East McAndrews Village at Vista Pointe, have also objected to the revised project because it removes most of a previously approved commercial area and increases the number of housing units.

"What they're asking to do is inconsistent with the community," said David Whitney, a 75-year-old who lives close to the proposed development.

The original design also called for a retirement complex, but that, too, has been removed in the latest proposal.

The City Council will consider the appeal at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

The East McAndrews Village development is proposed off East McAndrews Road, east of Hillcrest Orchards near Hemlock Drive and north of the Greyson Heights subdivision.

In denying the proposal, the Planning Commission found the project would create 214 variances to the municipal code. Lot sizes were deemed too small, setbacks were not adhered to and the developers wanted to delay building a bridge over Lazy Creek.

Whitney said he feared the plan would eventually make it easier for the Hillcrest Orchards owners to develop their orchard and vineyard lands and would funnel more cars through existing neighborhoods.

PremierWest Bank — which has been bought out by AmericanWest Bank — and The Holt Group are the developers. They have proposed 104 residential lots and three commercial lots. The original proposal called for 17 commercial lots, an elder-care facility, 33 multifamily units and 47 single-family houses.

An appeal filed by the developers through the Medford law firm of Huyck, O'Connor, Jarvis, Dreyer, Davis and Glatte LLP asserts the Planning Commission failed to adequately explain why the new proposal is incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

The appeal also takes issue with the Planning Commission's insistence that a bridge be built over Lazy Creek. The developers contend the project wouldn't create enough traffic to justify the bridge.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.

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