A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

4th and Calapooia: Another step in this saga

Written April 15th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The northeast corner of Fourth and Calapooia on Friday afternoon.

If you’re like me, you look forward to the day when the property at this Albany street corner will drop out of the local news. But that day is some time off.

Albany builders Mark and Tina Siegner bought the property on the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Calapooia Street in early 2018.

They soon discovered that restoring three dilapidated historic houses on the site, previously condemned by the city as dangerous buildings, was not commercially feasible.

Since then they’ve fought, first, for permission to demolish the houses and then for approval to build two three-story buildings in their place. They call their proposal Calapooia Commons.

All along, their plans have been opposed by Friends of Historic Albany, who first tried to prevent the demolition and then, having lost that battle, objected to the proposed replacement as too tall and generally incompatible with the neighborhood.

The property is in the Monteith Historic District and zoned “downtown mixed use.” The two proposed buildings would have commercial space below and eight apartments above, two each on the two upper floors.

Now, on Friday, the Albany Planning Division announced it had approved a site plan for the project.

One of the opponents of the development has been Camron Settlemier. During a public comment period that ended on Feb. 4, Settlemier raised several objections to parts of the site plan. One of them was that bike parking shown on the plan would require approval by the Albany Landmarks Commission.

“There are no bicycle parking structures anywhere in the Monteith Historic District,” Settlemier wrote.

In response, David Martineau of the planning division wrote, “A condition of approval has been added to ensure that either the bicycle parking shelters are 100 square feet or less in size (exempt from historic review), or the shelters will require historic review prior to issuance of a building permit.”

A couple living nearby had commented that the plan didn’t adequately address parking. Martineau responded that the city development code does not require any off-street parking in this location but that the plan calls for four off-street spaces anyway.

Approval of the site plan is subject to appeal within 10 days.

Barring an appeal or other delays, the next time you’ll see something about Fourth and Calapooia on this site is when somebody clears the site and construction begins. (hh)

4 responses to “4th and Calapooia: Another step in this saga”

  1. John Hartman says:

    We read yet again about the forward-thoughtfulness of the citizenry of the City of Albany, leaning-in for progressive action to keep Our Fair City at the bleeding edge of relevance. The Conservationists, who never met a building that wasn’t historically critical to our understanding of ourselves, continually position themselves similarly to a recent past president…still fighting pointlessly, whining about events of a dank past…an era sensible folks view as ancient history. Yes, Progress is a silver streaked Rocket Ship named Albany!

  2. Mary Werner says:

    It’s a crying shame that the Siegners are replacing three historic buildings (one the home of the first Doctor in Albany), with two absolutely enormous public eyesores. Their plan is for two, three story, apartment boxes with mixed siding in assorted colors and textures. They will be absolutely fugly but, as long as they line the pockets of the powers that be, nobody gives a darn. Meanwhile, they will destroy the peace and beauty of the Monteith Historic District. Shame on them!

    • David Ballard says:

      “… they will destroy the peace and beauty of the Monteith Historic District….”

      Hyperboles anyone? Where is the beauty in the dilapidated, boarded up old structures or the current empty lot?

  3. Patrick Henry says:

    My idea of what is good and wonderful is more important than what you want to do with your property, sounds to me like somebody is hateful


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