City rejects agreement for proposed Battle Ground Village apartment complex


A local developer interested in building apartments in Battle Ground Village will now have to come up with another plan. 

After three years of presentations and deliberations, the Battle Ground City Council, at its Feb. 20 meeting, unanimously rejected Northbrook BG LLC’s developer’s agreement (DA) allowing for the construction of a proposed apartment complex in Battle Ground Village citing parking and zoning concerns.

The 3.5 acre property near the Battle Ground Community Center required a DA to permit residential use because it is currently zoned downtown commercial. 

The City Council has been considering the issue since April 2021.

In a Feb. 5 public hearing, Battle Ground Village Master Association President Camden Stiller laid out his concerns before the council about the proposal. He said that the final project would exacerbate the village’s existing parking, safety and recreation problems.

“I feel like this DA is asking us to pick our poison — to reduce the quality of life in the village either moderately or severely,” Stiller said to Council.

Stiller later criticized the agreement because he said it would lock up the property for seven years — the timeframe for building the complex under the DA — or open it to land speculation. The property’s ultimate fate, however, after the latest decision is now unknown because Northbrook BG LLC still owns the parcel.

Based on the preliminary design included in the DA, Battle Ground City Manager Erin Erdman estimated that the completed project would generate an annual revenue of approximately $441,000 for the city through tenant property, utility and sales taxes.

Councilor Victoria Ferrer said that, while the city has a need for housing that is affordable, she doesn’t believe the proposal is the best use for the land. She noted that the additional parking spaces mentioned in the DA would only accommodate additional tenants and would not solve the district’s parking situation.

“You have local businesses right now that are wanting to grow, and they are already scarce on this space that we provide for these commercial properties,” Ferrer said. “On top of that, I see the parking, and I know that’s a concern that we have in the downtown area. I don’t feel that this is addressing that concern.”

Dave Campos, a co-owner of the property, spoke to the City Council before its decision, stating that the viability of the city’s plans for Battle Ground Village depends on having tenants who live nearby.

“The viability of that project requires people to live there,” Campos said. “... We don’t have to look around very far to see that we’re exploding. We’re bursting at the seams. People are coming here from Portland, from California, from everywhere for the quality of life.”

Campos questioned whether previous testimony accurately reflected people’s opinion on the project. In a hearing on Feb. 5, Campos stated that five city residents who had previously shared their concerns over the DA were employees of Camden Stiller.