Lebanon may sell 98 acres Tuesday; developer plans million-dollar homes

Land that the city of Lebanon purchased for more than $1 million in the 1990s for a future water well field is about to be sold for about $2.16 million for a new high-end subdivision.

Lebanon City Council on Tuesday will consider the sale of 98.6 acres of land bordered by Mason-Morrow-Milgrove Road, as well as a development agreement with High Point Construction and Development LLC of Mason to build a subdivision of up to 42 homes.

City Manager Scott Brunka said the council will be asked to make an emergency approval of the ordinance to assist the developer with their timeline to develop the project.

Brunka said the land — near the far southwest edge of the city of Lebanon, at the northwest corner of Mason-Morrow-Milgrove and Columbia roads — did not pan out as a future well field for the city.

The sale includes a portion of the property, 10 to 15 acres, to be used for commercial use. Up to 42 owner-occupied single-family homes are proposed to be constructed on large lots, Brunka said. Council reviewed the proposed ordinance for the land sale and development agreement at its Feb. 6 work session. It was determined that the land was surplus property and is no longer needed for city use, he said.

Brunka said the development agreement is relatively consistent with prior project agreements but does include some contingencies such as a flood plan map amendment study and potential turn lane requirements.

In the documents and illustrated concept plans, the developers said they “plan to use the natural elements of the landscape and existing topography as the baseline for the roadway and open space layout. This will result in nearly all of the homesites having a private and wooded setting. The homes will be designed and constructed such that each is unique, but will follow the design guidelines set forth by an architectural review board to ensure certain quality and architectural standards are met.”

Depending on the number of homes that are built, the developer created two similar concept plans. One of the plans calls for 38 homes to be constructed on about 62.5 acres in residential area; about 39 acres of wooded area; and about 24.4 acres of open space. The average homesite area would be about 1.6 acres.

While the developer said there will not be a square-footage requirement, they expect the owner-occupied homes to range from 2,500 to 7,500 square feet and the average price to be in the range of $1 million to $2 million. This price point is higher than what is specified in the development agreement with the city, which set a minimum market price of $850,000.

Brunka said a portion of the land sale proceeds will go to reimburse the city’s water fund as well as to the general fund.

Mayor Mark Messer said he was “excited” about the proposed sale and the development of well-built, high-end homes.

“It’s on the outskirts of the city in an area we’ve been waiting to develop,” he said. “I’m excited to be working with a local developer who has such a vested interest in our community.”

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