PENDLETON - The Umatilla County Planning Commission rejected an Athena land partition that would have split 2.84 acres on the west side of Waterman Road north of the city into three parcels.

The property used to be railroad right of way and recently was purchased by Jerry Weidert who hopes to develop the property and sell it off.

The hearing was continued from a Jan. 30 meeting where the commission urged Weidert to examine the elevation and try to resolve an access issue with his neighbors, Jim and Beck Schroeder.

One of the Schroeder's driveways runs through the land purchased by Weidert. The roadway existed when the Schroeders purchased their property about six years ago and was used before that.

Following the council's instructions to try and come to an agreement with the Schroeder's, Weidert said he tried but was "verbally rebuked and got no further."

The City of Athena, which had previously stated it was unwilling to assure water and sewer service to the property, which is in the Urban Growth Boundary, without knowing what Weidert intended to do with the property, agreed to provide service to the three lots of they were residential.

While he planned to develop two of the lots for residential use, Weider was unsure what he planned for a third lot closest to Waterman Creek. "Possible a storage shed with no service," he said. "I have to solve some problems with it and look at it more down the road."

The commission voted 3-4 against the proposal. Commissioner Larry Givens expressed concern about the continuing problem with the road easement and the neighbors.

Commissioner Mike Muller said he voted against it because he was unwilling to partition the third lot not knowing how it would be developed. "Why wasn't it just left with No. 2?"

The decision can be appealed to the Umatilla County Commissioners

In other business, the commission co-adopted an ordinance text change to the city of Pilot Rock Permanent Open Space Zone. The change will allow the city to place a cellular tower on land, which should bring $500 a month to the city.

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