Residents Oppose Centralia Golf Course Rezone: Proposal Has Up to 387 Housing Units to Be Built at Former Armory Hills Golf Course


Note: This content was produced by the Economic Alliance of Lewis County, which publishes a monthly print supplement in The Chronicle focusing on economic news and commentary.

Residents living near the former Armory Hills Golf Course in Centralia adjacent to Seminary Hill came out to oppose a proposal to turn the land into a housing development with up to 387 housing units at Tuesday’s Centralia CIty Council meeting.

The former golf course is owned by the city, and located in a valley between Seminary Hill and Ham Hill. The property, according to an article in The Chronicle, is currently under a pending contract to be sold to an undisclosed developer. The property, which is located at the end of Duffy Street in Centralia’s urban growth area (UGA), was listed with John L. Scott for $1.8 million.

The Centralia Planning Commission is currently discussing the option of updating the city’s comprehensive plan regarding the 48.44-acre old golf course property and its subsequent rezoning for an allowance of two housing units per acre to eight, according to The Chronicle article.

The zoning change would make the 48.44-acre property go from a zoning classification of R-2 to R-8 and would allow the property to hold up to 387 housing units, up from 96.

At the April 14 Planning Commission meeting where the idea was workshopped, dozens of people voiced opposition to the potential move. There, they were told to contact the city council about their objections after a lively back-and-forth between the concerned citizens and Centralia Community Development Director Emil Pierson, who gave a presentation on the rezoning possibility to the commissioners.

One prevalent theme was the hope that the old golf course property would remain an open natural area where wildlife could continue to live and where people could bring their children for recreation.

“Thank you all for coming and engaging your local government,” Smith Johnston said as reported by The Chronicle. “It may not feel like it, but you are engaging early in the process. This is right now what’s happening is we are looking at the comprehensive plan and the zoning is a part of that and that’s one of the earliest possible stages. This issue currently is with the planning commission. I know many of you attended the Planning Commission meeting. … There will be a public hearing, I believe on this topic at the next Planning Commission meeting on May 12. That is another opportunity to provide your input.”

Citizen Jason Mattson stated on Facebook, “This piece of land is not only a gorgeous natural area, it also has a creek that runs through it that contributes to China Creek. As it is well known, China Creek is known for flooding. … I’m sure I’m not the only one that would hate all of the flood mitigation work done on Gold Street to be for nothing.”