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Ashland to seek partition plat for affordable housing property to save Cottonwood tree

The City of Ashland today filed a land-use application to partition its property at 380 Clay St., the location of a proposed affordable housing development by the Housing Authority of Jackson County (HAJC). If approved, this partition plat will have the effect of saving a 75-year-old Cottonwood tree on the property by creating a new, 14,000 sq. foot parcel on which the tree is located.   By adding another 7,000 square feet (currently under the control of the Parks and Recreation Department) to the opposite end of the property, the City would sell the Housing Authority 33,075 sq. feet of land on which to build its affordable housing development.
 
As originally proposed, the City offered to sell HAJC 40,075 sq. feet of property for $325,000 on which the agency proposed to build up to 20 units of affordable housing. However, the development was contingent on the City receiving a tree removal permit in order to remove the Cottonwood tree. The tree removal permit application was denied by the Planning Commission on a 4-3 vote last June.
 
Under this revised proposal, the city will sell 33,075 sq. feet of property to the Housing Authority for $268,238 and the Housing Authority will build 15 to 17 units of affordable housing.  This proposal also calls for the city to relocate water, sewer and electric utilities at an estimated cost of $133,000 and to reimburse the Parks and Recreation Fund $117,000 as compensation for the 7,000 sq. feet being added to the east end of the parcel. The partition plat will create a new 14,000 sq. foot parcel at the corner of Clay and Villard streets on which the Cottonwood tree is located. The City Council will consider a proposal to declare this new parcel as surplus, and sell it for private development.
 
A formal purchase and sale agreement between the City and HAJC will be presented to the City Council in the near future.  For information about agendas and other materials related to this action please refer to the City website, www.Ashland.or.us.

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