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Longview City Hall

Longview City Hall

The Longview City Council on Thursday approved the vacation of an alley right-of-way, clearing the way for a possible affordable apartment complex.

Developer Vince Penta said he hopes to turn the alley into a private courtyard in the middle of a housing development with perhaps as many as 40 single- and two-bedroom units. The central core of the complex could have a garden, playground or open space.

The 290-foot stretch of alley right-of-way is located between Seventh and Eighth avenues, south of Hudson Street. Penta, as the requestor, will pay nearly $36,000 for the vacation based on the assessed value of the nearby land.

The council also approved the vacation on the condition that the city would retain a public access and utility easement to support emergency vehicles and city utilities.

The city could end the easement once construction begins on the housing development. Penta said he plans to construct an alternative road for the city to reach its utilities in the alleyway once the building is complete.

The project is still in the early stages, Penta said, but securing the alley will allow him to start locking in the price of the project.

The nine rental homes currently located along the alley would eventually be removed to create one apartment complex.

“I think of this as a small step toward achieving the council stated goal of affordable housing, but it’s not anything that’s going to happen overnight,” Penta told the council.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved $7,000 for Longview Babe Ruth in Neighborhood Park Grant Funds.
  • Approved zoning code changes to reduce side and front yard setbacks in residential districts.
  • Supported prohibiting animals at a portion of Lake Sacajawea Park during July 2 and 3, in addition to the Fourth of July.

The rest of the council meeting ran past press time Thursday night. Council updates will be in the weekend print editions and online at www.TDN.com.

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