A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

As expected, a new subdivision off Ellingson

Written September 27th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

Here’s what the area of the proposed subdivision looked like in July. Those trees in the background are doomed.

This July the Albany City Council annexed 20 acres of farmland and a mobile home at Lochner and Ellingson Roads. Now, as expected, a nationwide homebuilding company has filed a tentative subdivision plat for 101 houses on the land.

The filing calls for felling 36 trees.

The Albany planning division has just posted a public notice of the filing. The city says it has notified owners within 1,000 feet and given them until Oct. 10 to submit comments.

It is up to the planning staff to act on the application, and there’s no question that the staff will approve it. The plat conforms to the zoning and, as far as I can see, complies with other requirements of the city’s development code.

Converting this open farmland to suburban housing was foreshadowed nearly 50 years ago when the city included the land in its urban gowth boundary. Then, the conversion was assumed when the city adopted its South Albany Area Plan about 10 years ago. And it was assured when the annexation was approved this summer.

For years there has been talk of designing cities differently. But subdivisions being built in Albany now follow the old mid-century style: lots of single-family houses bunched together on more or less identical-size lots  along tree-lined streets, with no room for a neighborhood store or any other service people might be able to reach on foot.

Lennar is also building the 128-lot Henshaw Farms subdivision just to the east, at Ellingson Road and Columbus Street.

The new development at Ellingson and Lochner is named Curry Meadows, after the current land owner.  But as for actual meadows, you won’t see many of those when the houses all are built. (hh)

Here’s a drawing of the proposed Curry Meadows Subdivision north of Ellingson Road.


15 responses to “As expected, a new subdivision off Ellingson”

  1. Jim and Lexis Kirkendall says:

    We have no problem with development per se, but we live in Independent Living in Mennonite Village. All the new houses bring a lot more traffic to Columbus/Waverly and especially with the bridge closed to heavy trucks, no crosswalk for 47th. Only one at South Albany HS. It would be great to have the city come out and see what the impact will be on 47th. Hospice across the tracks too. As far as we know, no traffic studies have been done.


    • J Mason says:

      As a North Albany resident since 1976, I’ve seen my fair share of local rural forested and/or rural farmland to urban development by the City — and the many positives and negatives that have resulted. Over those 45+ years of land use changes and building, one component that’s been without change is the neighborhood/subdivision design template that’s used which is classic Mid-Century car-centric suburban planning, unfortunately. Consequently, any needed car traffic studies and data-driven infrastructure changes by the City to successfully manage it also remains outdated, unchanged, and from the last century.

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        “Consequently, any needed car traffic studies and data-driven infrastructure changes by the City to successfully manage it also remains outdated, unchanged, and from the last century.”

        You may consider it “outdated” and don’t like the outcomes, but considering the many changes that have been made to the transportation plan ( https://www.cityofalbany.net/pw/transportation), the above is not true:

  2. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Take a look at the South Albany Area Plan:
    You can see areas for parks, stores, school, etc. – along with the much needed residential…

  3. Ben Roche says:

    More residential homes should be a welcome sight. Home prices in Albany have un-necessarily skyrocketed due to low supply, and inflation. Higher interest rates will also push more people into apartments, increasing demand for rentals and further driving up prices. Supply side is the solution to solving high prices in housing. When some of the homeowners in developments like Lexington or Leigh want to move upwards to a new home further out, those more affordable homes become available on the market for renters, and those empty rentals become available for others. The housing ladder has many rungs, we need to be adding more rungs, not fighting development.

  4. Mark says:

    I’d rather keep the trees instead of added MORE houses. I don’t understand why the council can’t require the developers to plan on retaining the existing trees. Oh, I know. They don’t care.

  5. Kar says:

    That open land was the best place to watch the sunset. It’s already gone with the current development. My guess is that no one cares about the sunset but I miss it. Sad. Towering housesthat aren’t even aesthetically pleasing and that most can’t afford. Sigh.

  6. Richard Vannice says:

    Has anyone looked at where the majority of these “BIG Nationwide Developers” are coming from? That’s right, out of state, and they could care less about anything but making all they can from their efforts.
    The phrase “affordable housing” is often used; but, I have never heard what “affordable housing” is. It sure doesn’t apply to those on minimum wage!

  7. tracy says:

    The homes being built are not “affordable” unless you’re married with two incomes and mortgaged to the hilt or independently wealthy. I make very good money but cannot buy a home on my own that is of any quality other than what needs to be gutted and rebuilt. Very sad indeed.

    • Gabby says:

      My husband and I are in the same boat – been renting for a decade and have watched “starter-homes” disappear from Albany. Despite the developments going up all over town, we have yet to find anything that is in our price range as first-time home buyers, and like you said, not a total gut job or a shoe box. I understand folks might be sad about the trees or their sunset watching spots disappearing, but there are real, live, people who love this town just as much as our fellow citizens and would love to own our own homes here.

  8. Rachel La Brasseur says:

    My main question is, what about the schools? They’re already crowded and I haven’t heard anything about a new school or schools being built to pick up the slack.

  9. Shane Bessett says:

    As with the Grand Prairie Estates Development beginning 6 years ago this will include mandatory HOA, no local park for the kids to play, and cookie cutter houses with about 4 different floor plans for hundreds of houses. The HOA is a nightmare due to the local property owners with nothing better to do than to complain daily about their neighbors grass being an inch too long or garbage cans not put away immediately in the morning. Fortunately, we moved out after 4 years so good luck to the new residents and watch out for the emotionally untethered ‘volunteer’ HOA board. Also, the new built houses had lots of issues so get a good inspection prior to buying.

  10. Barbara Dugger says:

    Comment from someone who has lived in Albany 48 years, Wow!! When I first looked at the picture, I, of course, noticed the “Public Hearing” sign. So, the sign signifies HEARING by the city to state to the populace affected by the change to LISTEN to CITIZEN’S commentary/views. I read with interest all the previous comments/emails. Excuse me if I missed something, but NO comments were POSITIVE. As one person stated,”What is the plan for the influx of students???” Hello……. has the city provided for this issue; I’m guessing not since I have not seen that particular issue discussed. Come on!!! I do not understand WHY the city did not INSIST existing trees be left as they are. Or at the very least, a provision be made to replace them with older than “baby” trees. What a travesty :( Sad for Albany.


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