If you have driven up Columbia Center Boulevard to 10th in Kennewick and looked up, you might wonder what is going on.
Large Construction Site on Tall Hill in Kennewick
There is a very large construction site south of Kennewick on Thompson Hill that seems to be picking up steam with huge dump trucks and diggers working all day. A huge chunk of Thompson Hill is now unrecognizable by the people that have lived there for years. I know, because I have lived behind Thompson Hill for almost 20 years myself. After doing some research, it turns out the fight to keep Thompson Hill natural has been going on for years.
Debate Online About What is Being Built on Kennewick Hill
The question was posed on a local Facebook group asking what people thought it might be. Some of the answers were funny and pretty humorous, “looks like they’re gonna build”, “build more homes that people can’t afford to buy”, or “maybe making room to finish that 28,000 square foot house on the top?” Funny, but not “constructive” to the conversation. Others guessed that it was the Vista Field Project development, but that is located in a different part of Kennewick.
Development Being Built Had Failed to Pass Kennewick City Council Since 2009
The development being built right now has been trying to get plans and land designations approved since 2009 by the Kennewick City Council. The developer of the project, Jose Chavallo, had failed to do just that in 2009, 2010, and in 2011. In October of 2022, the Kennewick City Council finally approved the project with a split vote of 5-2 after years of trying according to reports. What is in this newly approved plan?
The development project, assigned as Project# CPA-2022-0005, called “to change the land use designation of 4.31 acres from Low-Density Residential to High-Density Residential and change 33.93 acres from Low-Density Residential to Medium Density Residential. The proposal is located at 2701 and 2711 S Sherman Street.” A proposal by Panoramic Heights, a nearby housing development, made the legal plans for the project clear back in September of 2022. You can read their concerns by clicking here.
What is Being Built on the Newly Approved Thompson Hill Site in Kennewick?
The plans for the newly approved site according to developer Jose Chavallo include family homes, condos, a hotel, and a restaurant. The change in the land usage from 4 acres of low-density residential housing to high-density housing and then applying to change 34 acres from low-density residential, or single-family housing, to medium-density housing. Chavallo says he can build up to 360 house units and up to 88 hotel units on the new site. Councilmen Chuck Torelli and Jim Millbauer both voted against the plan with Mayor Bill McKay, Mayor Pro Tem Gretl Crawford, Councilmen Brad Beauchamp, John Trumbo, and Loren Anderson all voting for it. Read more details in an interview with the developer when the plan was approved back in October of 2022 by the Tri-City Herald.