News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Major project planned in Sisters

A complete application for a Master Planned Development (MP#19-01) has been received by the City from Threewind Partners regarding property located behind and beside Bi-Mart, between McKinney Butte Road and West Hood Avenue.

The development, on 7.48 acres, will include approximately 50 multi-family units, 28,000 square feet of commercial area, and supporting site infrastructure. The application has been forwarded to appropriate agencies for their review: City Public Works, city engineer, traffic engineer, and ODOT (the property is located in the Highway Commercial Zone adjacent to State Highway 20). Those agencies have until Friday, December 13, to submit their comments and recommended conditions of approval on the proposal to Community Development Director Patrick Davenport.

Three pre-approval meetings were held between the applicant and the City to discuss the process to prepare the application. To date, no meetings have been held by the applicant with surrounding neighbors.

There are four types of permit/decision-making procedures, Type I, II, III, and IV. MPDs require a Type III decision (quasi-judicial), which is made by the Planning Commission after a public hearing, with appeals heard by the City Council.

The application contains a number of renderings by local architect Chris Mayes, including the existing conditions on the Threewind property (showing all the trees), the preliminary plat, and the preliminary street and utility plan. There is also a 113-page Traffic Impact Study prepared by Lancaster Engineering, and a 75-page burden-of-proof statement.

The proposed Dollar General store between McKinney Butte Road and Bi-Mart is not part of this MPD. The site plan for that building and parking lot is part of a separate application.

The conceptual site plan for the MPD shows five two-story apartment buildings behind Bi-Mart and adjacent to the houses along Wheeler Loop in The Pines. There are four commercial buildings ranging from 3,200 to 10,680 square feet, with a fifth building for one of six fast food restaurants allowed in the Highway Commercial zone.

According to City regulations, 10 percent of the total area must be occupied by landscaping. The application indicates 1.1 acres of open space including a park, play structure, and picnic area with tables and chairs.

Final layout of buildings, access aisles, and landscaping will be decided through individual site and design review applications as the property develops, with the master plan application serving as a general framework of the intent upon completion.

After the various agencies submit their comments, City staff will produce their report summarizing the application and applicable decision criteria and provide findings of conformance and/or non-conformance with the criteria. The staff report usually also provides a recommended decision of approval, denial, or approval with special conditions that ensures conformance with the approval criteria.

Davenport predicts the Planning Commission public hearing will be held in early 2020. Notice of the hearing will be provided at least 14 calendar days before the hearing date. All property-owners of record within 250 feet of the property line of the site will receive a mailed hearing notice, as well as anyone who submits a written request to receive notice. Notice will also be printed in The Nugget and posted on the property.

According to the applicant’s burden of proof statement, after approval of the master plan, development of the site will entail multiple site plans and possible land divisions to facilitate the development of the MPD area. Due to the number of significant trees to be removed, some tree removal may be mitigated by payment into the City tree fund.

Back in 1999, when a number of parcels of property were annexed into the city (including part of the land involved in the MPD), the Highway Commercial Zone was already in existence. All the adjoining property was zoned High Density Residential.


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