By Deb Murphy
“We did extensive market research,” explained Bob Kingston the developer of a proposed 15-home subdivision off Home Street in Bishop, currently the site of Bishop Nursery. “The subdivision fills a definite need,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday.
The City’s recent Economic Development Element to its General Plan identified the lack of housing as a challenge. “That’s why we decided to move ahead,” Kingston said. According to Kingston, another lack in Bishop is consistent neighborhoods, a gap he feels the subdivision will fill. “It’s going to be a well-done, landscaped and consistent neighborhood….” targeting young families or down-sizing retirees.
The only current specifics on the housing applies to the six lots that back up to Rome Drive. At the July 13 City Council meeting, the majority of the opponents to the subdivision lived on Rome Drive, citing too many houses for the 2.75 acre parcel, habitat issues, Home Street traffic, noise and loss of quality of life for existing neighborhoods. According to Kingston, the lot widths in his development are similar to the six lots they back up to on Rome. The homes planned for those lots will be one-story single-family residents, approximately 1,800 sq. ft. “Those homes will be one-story out of respect to the existing residents on Rome,” Kingston said, noting that the Rome Drive residents are set at a higher elevation than his subdivision.
In terms of pricing, Kingston said the homes will be at “market value.” An unscientific search of homes for sale within the city limits turned up two, both smaller footprints, priced between $240,000 and $390,000. Some of the project opponents feared the development would be “low-income homes,” but that need has yet to be filled in Owens Valley.
A second public hearing will be held at the City Council’s Aug. 10 meeting with Aug. 15 the deadline for written comments. Kingston will be at that meeting.