Photo by Patrick Mulvihill
ANDREAS VON FLOTOW floats the concept of a new city incorporated directly west of Hood River, called Mitchell Ridge, at a January county board of commissioners meeting.
As of Friday, January 26, 2018
The Hood River County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 16 heard a brief plan for incorporating a new city directly west of town.
Andreas von Flotow introduced the concept of establishing a community spanning Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area land between Mitchell Ridge and the City of Hood River’s urban growth boundary.
“The motivation is that people who live in that area are not happy with their restricted property rights,” von Flotow, a property owner in the area, said.
His written report said county residents in the area don’t enjoy the same freedom of enterprise as city residents do, for instance in zoning, land use and urban development.
Von Flotow said the plan intends for the new community — he guessed at around 800 people — to later be absorbed into the city via annexation. The 2.3-square-mile Mitchell Ridge would run from the Columbia River south to Belmont Drive, according to a project map von Flotow submitted to the county.
Commissioners highlighted various obstacles in land use and public opinion such a proposal faces, particularly with the legal authority of the bi-state Columbia River Gorge Commission. Commissioner Bob Benton said it would difficult “getting people to pay the city’s (higher) tax rate.”
Peter Cornelison, a Friends of the Columbia Gorge staff member, said at the meeting that stripping the federal NSA designation would require an Act of Congress.
Von Flotow said he is researching his options. He voiced an intention to go out to the community for a petition, and to seek incorporation through a vote either in the spring or fall election.