East Orchards Growing Pains Affecting Landowners and Potential Buyers


More growing pains in Lewiston's East Orchards - this time for the county. On Monday, a Nez Perce County commission public hearing brought to light an issue for some landowners or those looking to buy property.

There are several pieces of land north of Burrell and East of 23rd Street up for sale, but for some buyers, their dream property quickly becomes a nightmare.

Some who purchase the property find they won't have access to public services like mail, school buses, or garbage pick-up. Others find they'll have to pay upwards of $100,000 to install a well just to get water.

Commissioner Doug Havens said some of it has to do with the appeal of a hot deal. "Part of the problem is people, when you see a good deal on the land, do you take the time and go down to the courthouse and then come to planning and building and investigate? Figure out what you can build on it, all the hoops you have to jump through? Nope, you don't do that. Forget all that, it's just whose got the money and how fast you get it to them," Havens said.

Commissioners didn't take any action at Monday's meeting, but there are several options on the table they want the public's input on.

Those include requiring roads be brought up to current standard before issuing a building permit for the land or even vacating the plats. They also discussed adding notes to those land titles letting buyers know they could miss out on certain services, or to let buyers know that the county could accept roads only if they were developed up to current standards. On the other end of the spectrum, commissioners have the option of doing nothing.

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