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New Cornelius subdivision holds 900 homes

Laurel Woods development will occupy urban growth boundary expansion

If all goes according to plan, there will be plenty of new faces around Cornelius over the next few years.

The city is currently finishing property line adjustments with Washington County for a 138-acre space along Cornelius' southeast border. The area was brought into the urban growth boundary after the “Grand Bargain” expansion in 2014.COURTESY PHOTO - An early draft of the zoning changes shows the 138 acres of urban growth boundary land annexed into Cornelius.

“Everything is still in the preliminary and speculative stage,” said Cornelius Community Development Director Ryan Wells, but the rough plan is a graduated development of the area over as many as 10 phases. When all 10 are completed, Wells said, the space — known as the “Laurel Woods” subdivision — will hold around 900 new homes.

They will include multi-family dwellings alongside single-family, detached houses, but only duplexes and townhouses — no apartments. Even without apartments though, the development ought to offer plenty of affordable options, said Wells.

“Given the lot and housing types,” he said, “there should be a fair range of affordability. Some good starter homes, family-friendly homes in a good area.”

Working with these families in mind, the city and developer will work together to include a large park in the development. Wells said it’s too early to know an exact size, but it will be substantial and hopefully include a soccer field, basketball courts and passive recreational areas, plus a trail along the Tualatin River floodplain, the southern boundary of the development.

To accommodate the 900-plus new residents and the accompanying traffic, the city will eventually extend 29th Avenue south into the development to serve with 20th and 26th as the major roadways. That construction will occur, according to Wells, after a “critical mass” of new residencies are built — probably around 300.

All three roads will also align with Cornelius’s new collector road standards and include multimodal pathways separated from the roadway proper by vegetation. Clean Water Services will also fund a new sanitary pump station for the development.

The property line adjustments, said Wells, are the last hurdle preventing formal development applications and, soon after, groundbreaking.

The original application for annexation was submitted in March and approved by the city council in May. This final bit of red tape could take another four to six weeks, but once it’s completed the city expects a formal development application from Holt Group Incorporated and AKS Engineering, who’ve been involved in the early planning process.