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Houses among the vines

A new housing development above a former landfill outside Jacksonville will include four homes built among DANCIN Vineyards grapevines.

The homeowners will be able to purchase the harvest and have it custom crushed and bottled by DANCIN to create their own estate label, says project manager Mike Montero.

South Stage Pass Development Inc. plans to offer 10 lots ranging from 2 to 3.3 acres, including the four with grapes, beginning in November after a final plat map is approved and infrastructure work is finished. DANCIN vineyards is located adjacent to the development.

“The grapes will be owned by one of the (Stage Pass) affiliates," Montero says. "The property will be owned by the homeowner, but there will be a grape easement.

"The benefit to the property owner is that in reality you get your vineyard landscaping and the cost of managing and all the landscaping is paid for.”

The Vineyards is one of three development phases on the 405-acre site on the east boundary of Jacksonville. South Stage Landfill operated on a portion of the site until it was closed in 1998. It was situated on 144 acres of the site that is downslope from development that will take place on the land, Montero says.

DANCIN has 27 acres of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes planted on land it owns and adjacent land owned by Stage Pass that is next to the development. A total of three acres will be planted on the four lots.

Jackson County commissioners in December 2012 approved a zoning change for the land and a planned unit development that allows 27 home sites in three locations. In 2015, the county approved changing the plat to allow a private access road for The Vineyards to come into South Stage Road opposite Bellinger Lane. Stage Pass has paid for widening the road at the intersection and installing left-turn lanes for both east- and west-bound traffic at the intersection.

“They did it so that the whole thing would operate more efficiently,” Montero says. “We got an amendment to our PUD last year to permit the realigning.”

Pilot Rock Excavation of Central Point is putting roads and service lines into the property. Private wells already in place will serve homes. There will be a gated entrance leading to the residential area.

Development timelines for the second and third phases have not been set. The second phase, called The Highland, will offer 14 lots and have an access road off Daisy Creek Road. A third phase, The Terraces, will offer three lots. Homeowners will work with their own architects and builders. Lot prices have not yet been announced.

Much of the land will remain in its natural state. Hiking and walking trails are planned.

“As part of our approved PUD, we have an adopted wildlife management plan approved by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,” Montero says. The property is owned by the Gambee family, which operated the landfill. They first proposed development in the last decade.

“The owners are tickled that it is finally moving ahead. They are very pleased,” Montero says.

 — Tony Boom is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.