JACKSONVILLE — A development on a scenic entrance into this historic town has drawn so much curiosity that the Planning Department leaves related documents out on its counter for public viewing.

JACKSONVILLE — A development on a scenic entrance into this historic town has drawn so much curiosity that the Planning Department leaves related documents out on its counter for public viewing.

Southeast Jacksonville LLC has put in a short road and services for a four-lot development at 745 California St. during the past two months. It's at the eastern edge of town where South Stage Road becomes California.

Sporting sweeping vistas of church steeples, the old Jacksonville School campus, the historic county courthouse and other parts of the Rogue Valley, the project was approved in January.

"They have gone through all the processes they have to go through," said Alice White, planning technician.

That included approval by the Planning Commission and initial design approval by the Historic and Architectural Review Commission, which regulates building appearances to maintain the town's historic character.

Lots will be sold to individual buyers, said Alan DeBoer, a principal in the corporation. Partner Richard Doyle will construct the homes. Lot prices have not yet been determined.

"We're within a couple weeks of final plat," said DeBoer. "We'll put up a sign as soon as we get that done."

Lots are on a narrow, 1-acre site that is immediately north of California where the land drops away from the street.

Houses will be two-story structures, severed by driveways off Beverly Way that was just completed. Because of the drop-off, the homes will appear to be one story from the road.

"The actual structures are situated on grade so that it won't be like these towering structures blocking the view," said White.

DeBoer and Doyle purchased the 50-acre site that is mostly farmland just east of town. The 1-acre site platted for homes is within city limits.

Zoning in the area requires a minimum lot size of 8,000 square feet. DeBoer said more lots could have been created on the site, but the developers opted for slightly larger sizes.

The rest of the 50 acres is zoned for exclusive farm use. Cattle are run on land just north of the development and 20 acres of land further east is leased to Quail Run Vineyards for grape growing.

A sewer easement was granted across the farmland to connect to Beverly Way further north. If the land is brought into the city, Beverly Way would be completed to allow access to California Street.

"Jacksonville's tax base is so low, another 20 or 30 houses wouldn't hurt them at all and would give them a lot more money for police and fire, plus it would help with fire access through Beverly Way," said DeBoer.

A 10,000-square-foot metal building for agricultural uses was put up on land east of the development. Alfalfa is being stored in the structure, but it can also be used as a grape crush facility, said DeBoer.

"We're getting ready to do some aesthetics to soften the side on California Street," said DeBoer. The building was formerly a gymnasium at Ashland High School that was recycled.

The landowner said the building lots offer both urban and rural features.

"You can walk to town and still have a view of the whole valley that's still on a fairly flat piece of land," said DeBoer.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.