City agrees to sale of Morrison Park property

‘Community Engagement’ meeting on Lot 700, set for March 22

DISC golf and wooded open space are the primary attractions of the five-acre park at 20th and Wasco streets.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
DISC golf and wooded open space are the primary attractions of the five-acre park at 20th and Wasco streets.

Hood River City Council, in a special meeting on Tuesday, March 6, authorized a purchase option agreement between the city and Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation for Lot 700 — also known as Morrison Park — contingent on development of an affordable housing complex that includes a sizable park/open space element.

The agreement, crafted by City Attorney Daniel Kearns and approved by the Hood River City Council, authorizes City Manager Steve Wheeler to execute the purchase option agreement with Columbia Cascade Housing Corp. (CCHC). The agreement allows CCHC an exclusive option to purchase approximately 4.7 acres located at the northwest corner of Wasco and 20th/Jaymar streets. The action moves the city closer to its objective of adding over 60 affordable housing units in Hood River.

One covenant of the agreement includes criteria upon which people would be eligible for tenancy in the multi-unit housing complex. Occupancy for 80 percent of units would be restricted to individuals earning no more than 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI), while the remaining 20 percent of units would be restricted to people earning no more than 80 percent AMI.

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March 22 community meeting from 6-8 p.m. at 902 Wasco St., Waucoma Building.

Nearly 82,000 square feet of the project area will be devoted to natural park features, including trails, with the southern portion of the property possibly partitioned as a park after closing.

“Affordable housing has been the city’s number one priority for several years now,” Hood River Mayor Paul Blackburn said. “This agreement represents an affirmative step toward adding a significant number of units to our affordable housing inventory, which is extremely gratifying.”

CCHC, alongside development team members Carleton Hart Architecture and Greenworks Landscape Architecture, presented preliminary conceptual designs for a community discussion held Jan. 10, and have incorporated feedback into the project design.

The concept preserves and integrates natural features such as rock outcroppings, healthy trees, and includes environmentally sustainable components. The next community engagement meeting is scheduled for March 22 from 6 -8 p.m. at 902 Wasco St. Hood River, where CCHC will accept feedback and provide updates on the development’s progress.

The purchase price of $1 defrays land costs in order to increase the affordability of the development in one of Oregon’s highest-priced housing markets. The property, with an estimated real market value at $1,016,910, will revert back to the city if all contingencies are not met.

If all contingencies are met, CCHC has a Dec. 31, 2019, deadline in which to complete all terms of the agreement and close on the property or the transfer of title will not occur.

“We are grateful for the true partnership we have with the City of Hood River on our shared goal of bringing more affordable housing options to Hood River,” said Joel Madsen, CCHC executive director. “This agreement provides clarity on the city and CCHC’s commitments going forward and allows us to be better positioned to attract investors for this important community development.”

Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation is the non-profit development arm of Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, which promotes and administers affordable housing solutions throughout the Gorge. For more information, visit

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