Camas approves Belz Place development agreement

Pahlisch Homes will develop 107 lots on Prune Hill

With the approval of a resolution on Monday, the Camas City Council set in motion the next chapter in the life of a property with history that dates back more than 100 years.

The development agreement between the city and Pahlisch Homes sets the parameters for the construction of Belz Place, a 107-lot subdivision on 36.9 acres. The average lot size will be 8,489 square feet, and the development will also include eight acres of open space, and a clubhouse, pool and trails.

The property, located at the intersection of Northwest Sierra Street and 23rd Avenue, adjacent to Dorothy Fox Park, will be developed in two phases, the first will include 48 homes.

Belz Place will offer a mix of one- and two-story houses. The approved development agreement stipulates that there will be no more than two, two-story homes in a row.

“One of the concerns staff has had for some time is we’d like to see more single story homes for an aging population,” said Community Development Director Phil Bourquin, prior to a public hearing on April 18. “This addresses those issues and provides for a variety of housing choices.”

The agreement also calls for the developer to fund improvements at Dorothy Fox Park, to be completed by the summer of 2017. Additions will include a public restroom and playground equipment. Curb extensions will also be built along Northwest 23rd Avenue, to provide a safe crosswalk between the development and the park.

The subdivision’s preliminary plat was originally approved in 2006.

The development’s name, Belz Place, is a tribute to the history of the property that dates back more than 110 years.

Lonnie Belz was 4-years-old in 1902 when his parents moved to Prune Hill. In 1923 he helped build a massive red barn on the 75-acre parcel, where the family operated a dairy.

An article in the Jan. 17, 2006, edition of the Post-Record highlighted the property’s history.

“I remember being in the barn when I was little,” recalled Lonnie’s son, Lloyd Belz. “There was a nice smell in the air from the grain they were giving to the cattle. The milk was carried from the barn, across to the milk house, which was about 30 or 40 feet way, where it was processed and placed in glass bottles.”

Robert Tidland, founder of Tidland Corporation, purchased the land in the mid-1970s from the Belzs, who were family friends. The Tidlands kept black angus cattle and miniature donkeys on the property, and leased out the farm house and the barn.

Lonnie Belz, an active citizen involved with the volunteer fire department, J.D. Currie Youth Camp and the Camas Cemetery Association, died in 1996. Robert Tidland, also an active member of the community, died in 2013.

In 2006, the farmhouse where members of the Belz family lived was razed and barn was de-constructed and moved, to make room for a future housing development.

On April 18, Mayor Scott Higgins described the development agreement with Pahlisch Homes at Belz Place as a “very good deal for the community.”

“I want to thank the Tidland family,” he said. “It’s historical property. It means something to them and [through] this entire process you saw it and heard it in every conversation with the Tidland family.

“They wanted to make sure that what was left behind on a place that they spent many days and many wonderful occasions was something they could be proud of,” Higgins continued. “We are very thankful when we get people in our community who want to develop their property in that way.”

Pahlisch Homes is also the developer of the 54-lot Lake Hills subdivision, currently under construction off of Lake Road in Camas.

Kate’s Cove final plat OK’d

Meanwhile, on Monday the Camas City Council also unanimously approved the final plat for a new subdivision off of Northwest Brady Road.

Kate’s Cove is a 29-lot development that will be located on 8.9 acres on Northwest 20th Avenue. The average lot size will be 5,623 square feet.

The property, which includes 3.3 acres of critical wetland areas, is owned by David Lugliani under Kate’s Close, LLC.

Like Belz Place, its preliminary plat was also approved in 2006. At the time, the subdivision was called Brady Road.