State leases 334 acres behind Richland Target; lease expires in 2021
Agricultural land owned by the state of Washington since the beginning of statehood may eventually be for sale following the completion of the current lease terms.
The land on Kennedy Road, north of Vintner Square and behind the Richland Target, includes two leases with Chiawana Orchards LLC, with a portion of the land used for apple trees.
The 334 acres are managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and considered trust land. The land benefits the Common School Trust, which supports construction costs of public schools across the state.
The land is zoned as agricultural, and the state intends to have it re-zoned to a mix of residential and commercial use when the city of Richland finalizes updates to its comprehensive plan this month.
The city is required by the state to update its comprehensive land use plan, which is used to guide decisions about growth, every decade. The plan encapsulates the city’s vision for the next 20 years and helps make decisions on land use, infrastructure and economic development, among other things.
Richland considers the land to be “urban reserve,” which means it is set aside for future development. As part of the lengthy effort to update the plan, Richland met with Department of Natural Resources and Richland School District staff to discuss the large parcel, which borders West Richland.