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News / Business / Clark County Business

Ginn Group proposes east Vancouver subdivision

Company wants zone change to build smaller homes on smaller lots

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: April 18, 2023, 6:04am
2 Photos
A motorist drives past the site of a possible 57-lot planned development near 12301 N.E. 18th St. The Ginn Group, which has proposed the project, is proposing a zoning change to allow for the smaller lots and smaller homes it has planned.
A motorist drives past the site of a possible 57-lot planned development near 12301 N.E. 18th St. The Ginn Group, which has proposed the project, is proposing a zoning change to allow for the smaller lots and smaller homes it has planned. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Ginn Group plans to take several acres in east Vancouver and create 57 new detached homes, according to pre-planning documents submitted to the city of Vancouver. To achieve it, the real estate development company is asking for a zoning change from the city.

A representative for Vancouver-based Ginn says the company wants the zone change in order to build smaller homes on smaller lots, but in a way that’s compatible with the existing single-family neighborhood around the proposed development.

The proposed development, Fircrest Meadows, is at 12301 N.E. 18th St. The property lies on the northern edge of the Fircrest neighborhood, abutting the Bonneville Power Administration transmission lines on Northeast 18th Street. The 7½-acre site is currently zoned R-6 low density residential, but Ginn is asking it be rezoned R-9 low density residential. The current zoning would accommodate lots averaging 7,500 square feet, while the proposed zoning accommodates smaller lots that average 5,000 square feet, according to the city code.

“In 2023, as a community, we find ourselves with a severe shortage of housing of all types, including attainably priced single-family detached housing for families,” said Phil Wuest, chief development officer at Ginn Group.

Wuest went on to say that working families may have been able to afford the homes built in the surrounding single-family developments when they were built in 1974 and 2007. But the costs for land, land development and construction have increased to the point that it’s challenging to deliver affordable homes now.

“While well-designed smaller homes on smaller lots in thoughtfully designed communities will not solve the overall family housing supply issue faced by the community, they will help address it,” said Wuest. “That is what Ginn Group is trying to achieve at Fircrest Meadows.”

The pre-planning narrative shows that the project plans to have larger lots on its perimeter adjacent to the current single-family neighborhoods and smaller lots on its interior and adjacent to the power lines. The minimum lot area proposed is 2,500 square feet and the minimum width is 30 feet.  Many of the proposed lots are more than 3,000 square feet and the ones adjoining the current neighborhoods are more than 4,000 square feet.

In addition to homes, Ginn plans to retain a grove of trees that is on a slope. The narrative states that the developer envisions a trail through that open space and a pocket park. There would be about an acre of the property set aside as common open space.

The plans call for extensions of Northeast 14th Street and Northeast 16th Street into the neighborhood. Northeast 122nd Avenue would exist in the development as private street segments with dead-end cul-de-sacs.

The land is not currently owned by Ginn but rather by Ardis Bradstreet, according to county records. It’s surrounded predominantly by single-family homes and has only one home on it. Ginn plans to purchase the property before the company begins construction. According to county records, the land is valued at around $2 million.

Wuest said the zone change application and development application will be decided on concurrently. The company hopes the city will make a final decision on the project in October.

If approved, Wuest said Ginn would likely break ground in May 2024, though that date could change.

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