After a late and contentious meeting, Camas planning commissioners Tuesday night recommended approval of a large housing development that would be built on the current site of the Green Mountain Golf Course.
The proposal now moves to the city council for final approval. Under consideration is the first portion of the project — 201 home lots on about 51 acres.
After a five-hour meeting, unanimously approval was given around midnight by the planning commission, with the caveat that the city should negotiate with the developer for more parks space, said Robert Maul, city planning manager.
Dozens of residents attended the hearing Tuesday, providing hours of testimony against the project, one of the largest development proposals in the city’s history.
The developer, Green Mountain LLC, would transform the Green Mountain Golf Course into a 283-acre mixed commercial-residential area. Along with other development projects on the north side of Camas, the plan means the city will add thousands of new residents and workers over the next two decades.
Today, Camas is home to about 22,000 people. City leaders expect that number to grow to 34,000 in the next 20 years.
The city annexed the Green Mountain Golf Course into its urban growth boundary in 2007. While city planning officials have long envisioned development in the area, it’s a far cry from what many small-farm owners and other nearby residents want.
For those living around the golf course, the proposal amounts to a major lifestyle change. The largely rural land is home to a number of homes on small acreage with horses and other animals. Many residents who moved there years ago chose the area to escape the noise and traffic in Portland.
In all, the project includes plans for 1,300 new residential lots for houses and apartments or condos, and 8.8 acres of commercial land for retail and office buildings.
The city’s agreement with the developer includes a stipulation that could increase the number of residential lots to 1,400 if more commercial development is added to the mix.
Directly to the east of Green Mountain, another developer wants to build a 400-house subdivision, and dozens more new houses will also be built along the north shore of Lacamas Lake in a separate project.
The Camas City Council will likely take up the first phase of the Green Mountain project on July 6, said Phil Bourquin, the city’s community development director. However, Bourquin does not anticipate the council will hold another public hearing on the matter.