Carnation considers annexing 60 acres of unincorporated farmland

Officials in Carnation are considering whether they want to annex nearly 60 acres of unincorporated farmland north of city limits, after a petition was brought to the city several months ago.

Nancy Harvold, owner of the Harvold Trust Property, brought that petition to the city in November, requesting that the they absorb her three parcels and make them part of Carnation. Two parcels, totaling about 41 acres, are located west of State Route 203, while a third is located to the east, north of Carnation Elementary and the cemetery.

The property is best known for its popular u-pick berry field and as the home of the Harvold Berry Farm, which was started in 1955 by Harvold’s late husband, Herman.

Alongside her property, Harvold’s petition asks the city to incorporate two other properties outside city limits: the Carnation Cemetery, which is on city owned land, and a sliver of land owned by the Riverview School District, near its learning center.

Representatives of Harvold gave an introductory presentation on the property and potential annexation to the city council on Jan. 3, and the council voted unanimously to continue examination of the proposal.

With that approval, city staff will spend the next few months doing an analysis of the site, City Manager Ana Cortez told the council. That inquiry will look at impacts the additional land could have on infrastructure, utilities, roads and city revenues.

Cortez said that analysis could be done by April. After that information is available, the city council would hold a final vote on the proposal.

“We’re confident that by April or earlier, we should be able to bring to you a full analysis on the implications of this annexation,” Cortez said.

While the property is outside of city limits, it has been part of the city’s Urban Growth Area (UGA) for decades, said Ron Branch, a real estate broker working with Harvold.

A UGA is a state-required boundary that attempts to limit urban sprawl by designating where cities are allowed to grow beyond their borders.

While the area is currently zoned for just one housing dwelling per 5 acres, if it were to become part of the city, the parcels would be up-zoned, Branch said.

According to a 2018 Carnation zoning map, the two eastern parcels would allow for 6 houses per acre, while the western parcel would allow 12 houses per acre. A small strip of land on all parcels, along the road, are also designated for mixed-use zoning.