City purchases Hillsboro’s Willow Glen housing development

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro City Council agreed at a special meeting Dec. 30 to accept ownership of 10 developed lots in the Willow Glen housing development on the city’s south side.

Development owner Eldred Kunkel of San Jose, Calif., offered the lots to the city as way to help his personal tax situation, according to Mayor Delores Dalke.

The lots had been under the control of Central National Bank because of taxes Kunkel owes against them. But CNB agreed to release the lots after receiving a payment from Kunkel, Dalke said.

Each of the lots have special assessments against them for sewer and drainage. The city plans to sell the lots to potential homeowners as a way to offset the money it has borrowed to pay for those special assessments.

“The thing is, if we have deed to (the lots), then we can come up with a price and do some incentives to try to get those lots sold,” Dalke said.

“If we pay the specials on them, which we need to do, then at least the county can’t be charging us interest on money that was supposed to come back to us anyway.”

City Administrator Steve Garrett said he has been checking with communities in the area that offer financial incentives for people to build homes in those communities.

Dalke said she favored incentives that help contractors “because we need builders building houses, and they need to be built within a price range that is sellable in our community.”

Before voting for the recommendation to accept the lots on behalf of the city, Councilor Len Coryea asked what “the big negative” might be if the city received the lots.

Dalke said the primary drawback was simply the investment of energy and time needed to turn around and sell the lots.

“We’re paying all the specials on them now anyway,” Councilor Matt Hiebert noted. “The only thing now is we’ll be able to possibly sell them. Even if we give them away, we’re getting out from underneath the specials on whatever lots we get rid of.”

Garrett said he favored the idea of accepting the lots. “I think it’s a good idea so we can control what going on (with the property).

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