(Photo above: L-R Scott Christiansen, Lara LeLaCheur, Brian LeLaCheur & Kent Estell | provided by Kent Estell)
After enduring an 11-year development process, the Glenn Meadows subdivision near Redmond will be completed by the original owner’s grandson, an Iraq war veteran.
Brian LeLaCheur joined the Army in 1996, continuing a military tradition started by his grandfather, John Johnson. As a civilian, LeLaCheur now looks to honor his deceased grandfather by completing a project Johnson started but the Deschutes County blocked.
Through Measure 37, Johnson got approval for a 40-lot subdivision spanning 53 acres. After construction began, however, Johnson hit a streak of bad luck.
In 2006, the housing market soured. In 2007, Measure 49 was passed, eroding the rights granted just a few years prior. In 2009, the County concluded Johnson had no development rights whatsoever.
Naturally, a legal battle followed but Johnson passed away in 2010, long before it was resolved.
In 2013, the state remanded the case back to the county where officials reversed themselves, concluding Johnson’s survivors (through the family trust) had a right to complete the subdivision.
As the only trustee, LeLaCheur felt pressure to pick up where his grandfather left off, but decided to continue farming the land instead. “It has been in the family for decades. I grew up here. I have a connection with it.”
Recently, however, he realized he could help his ailing grandmother by completing the subdivision, providing the money she needs for in-home care. Without any development experience, he applied a lesson he learned during his 14 years of military service.
“In the Army,” LeLaCheur explained, “I learned that the right team can accomplish just about anything. With the wrong team, you’re dead before you begin.”
“I knew I couldn’t do this alone. So I hired Ed Fitch, a land use attorney, Scott Christiansen, a local contractor with a great reputation, and Kent Estell, a real estate broker with development experience. Between the four of us, we figured it out.” “It will take about six weeks to clear the land, build the road and run the utilities. We have to wait for the County to record tax lot numbers before we can start building, but I expect a few families to celebrate Christmas here in their new homes.”
“And I’ll be celebrating, too, knowing I finished what my grandfather started.”
• On Thursday, July 14, 11am, the Johnson Family Trust, owners of the Glenn Meadows subdivision, will host a groundbreaking ceremony at the job site.
• Brian LeLaCheur, the sole trustee, is a third-generation war veteran. LeLaCheur served in Iraq. His father served in Vietnam. His grandfather served in Korea.
• The 53-acre community is located 2 miles northwest of Redmond. In the coming months, it will offer 16 single-family homes on 1-acre lots plus a common area that spans 1.4 acres. If sales go well, they expect to offer 15 more homes in 2018.
• LeLaCheur’s grandfather, John Johnson, bought the land in the sixties and, because of Measure 37, started the subdivision in 2005. After completing the first phase (of just 7 homes), the state/county revoked his development rights. In 2010, Johnson passed away. Three years later, his rights were reinstated, clearing the way for his descendents to complete the project.
• This project is the last of 170 Measure 37 cases in Deschutes County.