A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Apartments on river get Albany staff’s OK

Written June 3rd, 2019 by Hasso Hering

A 10-foot-wide bark path would replace this existing trail past the proposed apartments on the Willamette River.

The site plan for a proposed 105-unit apartment complex on the Willamette River has won the tentative approval of the Albany city planning staff.  Neighbors who submitted written comments now have until June 10 to ask for a public hearing before the Albany Planning Commission.

The complex of nine buildings — a clubhouse, 96 apartments and nine townhouses — is proposed for a 6-acre site on the other side of Geary Street from Bowman Park. The developers, based in Salem, call it “The Banks.”

The staff approval came out Friday along with 23  conditions. One requires the developers to build a 10-foot-wide bark-covered public path along the river. They also must set aside a 16-foot-wide public easement to allow for the future construction of a 10-foot-wide concrete path in the same place.

There’s an unimproved trail there now, connecting Bowman to Simpson Park downstream.

The submitted plan showed two entries to the complex, one off Geary and the other on Alco Street. The planning staff said the driveway on Alco should be gated and serve only in emergencies.

Other conditions deal with traffic matters such as construction of sidewalks along the project’s street frontages. But no mention is made of the Geary Street intersection with Salem Avenue, which the added apartment traffic would affect. Some neighbors had mentioned that as one of their concerns. There’s no signal, and according to a recent police department report, it’s one of the Albany intersections with the most crashes.

Asked this afternoon if anyone had requested a hearing yet, city planner Melissa Anderson replied, “Not yet.” (hh)






8 responses to “Apartments on river get Albany staff’s OK”

  1. J.Jacobson says:

    Once the Staff has given the thumbs-up, any neighborhood concerns will most easily be viewed flushing down one pipe or another. Very little gets in the way of condensed housing, especially if it is plotted away from Ruling Class domiciles.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      It looks and feels “condensed” because of all the space consumed to store and move cars. Much of the car-related spending could have gone into better sound isolation (big problem with higher-density housing) and more attractive landscaping. It would then have been an asset to the community instead of a perceived liability, and a really great place to live.

  2. Cheryl P says:

    Well yes, let’s worry about having enough room for the City to build a concrete trail at some time in the distant future instead of been concerned that there is no traffic light at an already problematic intersection and now you are going to be adding another 200 vehicles to the mix.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      If there were enough trails (paths, lanes, etc) – and good enough public tranportation – most people and their kids could get around safely and comfortably without owning a car. Better health and fitness. More money left over to buy good experiences (better than “things”) or just avoid insolvency. Young people are already doing this, especially in those desirable places with high housing costs due in large part to the value of land taken up by cars.

      • Cheryl P says:

        Horse hockey! First of all, Portland has an excellent public transportation system and yet their streets and highways are still clogged. And not just at ‘rush hour’ (which officially starts at 5am and 3pm). Two o’clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday and it took an hour to get from Beaverton to Portland on Hwy 26. Eleven o’clock on a Thursday morning, the exit off I-5 to I-84 East was backed up for three miles.

        Second, you’re right about ‘insolvency’…given the high cost of housing and even with 6-year auto loans, you can’t afford both.

        • HowlingCicada says:

          I don’t claim my proposals will solve traffic congestion, just that they will make it more feasible for individuals and families to choose good alternatives.

          The solution to traffic congestion – especially in places like Portland – is something completely different. Treat yourself to the suspense of finding out in the following podcast:

          “””Traffic is awful. It causes pollution, it makes people stressed, it costs cities and drivers billions of dollars… and if you’ve ever sat in a car, inching along a packed highway, you understand the toll it takes. So, how do we fix it? According to UCLA’s Michael Manville, there are a lot of proposed solutions, but only one – yes, one – really works.”””

  3. HowlingCicada says:

    Why are we building all these things that many of you dislike? For an answer, here’s a good starting point:

    “America’s Housing Stock Mismatch – As household sizes continue to fall, the size of our homes keeps getting bigger”

    It was written in 2011; affordability is worse now and the mismatch can only be much worse now. A graph shows size really taking off in the late 1980’s – the same time when houses started getting really pretentious and ugly (my opinion). It even has a solution in which I wouldn’t want to live – splitting-up McMansions (their word) into multi-family housing.

  4. John A says:

    Yes, by all means, build more residences in the flood plain!


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