At its regular meeting on Thursday, September 5th, the Joseph City Council gave final conditional approval to the Mountain Meadows subdivision. Located on the northeast boundary of Joseph, the project will bring 49 new single family residence homes to the city, and one small park that will serve as the subdivision’s open-space. It may help ease the growing pains and housing shortage in the county.

Wallowa surveyor Matt Brockamp presented plans updated since an earlier (May) meeting in which the preliminary plan was sent back for some redesign.

The Mountain Meadow subdivision will extend the present Daggett Street approximately 500 feet eastward. Its design includes a loop road and two short interior cul-de sacs. It also extends the city limits and “urban growth boundary” about 500 feet to the east.

Several local residents expressed concerns about the subdivision. Kathy Norman asked whether the city’s sewage system and sewage treatment plant was adequate for this large number of new family residences. Mayor Teresa Sajonia assured her that the present treatment facilities were sufficient, and that improvements and upgrades to the plant, scheduled for 2021, would boost the plant’s capacity even farther. Other concerns included the sharp radius of a curve in the subdivision’s roadway (It meets state standards according to Brockamp and the project engineer.) whether wet areas of the subdivision would be regraded so that homes could be more easily built (Yes.) and whether the extension of Daggett Street should be named Daggett Street or Daggett Lane. (“Street” was the hands down winner.)

In other matters before the council, Scott Schmidt and Lisa Dawson’s application to construct a 40-foot-long storage and wood-working building on their property was approved. James Monteith, the neighbor whose home is just 55 feet from the proposed woodshop, had filed an appeal citing noise, sawdust, and the potential for a commercial, small-diameter sawmill operator to be established in that business. In response, Schmidt noted that the hand-turned bowls and other artistic objects that he creates in wood manufacturing do not require much wood to produce, and certainly not enough to establish a commercial sawmill.

The Joseph City Council approved Mr. Schmidt’s application to build his shop, with several caveats. They include allowing operating hours only between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Other agenda-based items included accepting firefighting payments in the amount of $6,281 from the Joseph Fire Department as well as other funds.

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