It took only a few minutes Monday for the Albany Planning Commission to turn down a North Albany rezoning request that had drawn opposition from scores of nearby residents and property owners.
The commission voted unanimously to deny a change from medium-density (RM) to mixed-use commercial (MUC) on 12.7 acres north of Hickory Street. The property is off the end of Pleasant View Way and lies adjacent to houses that front on Troon Street in the North Pointe subdivision. The change was requested by Jim Winkler of Portland and his development company. It would have allowed higher-density housing and slightly higher buildings than the existing zone.
The planning commission heard opposition to the change at a public hearing on March 6. Then it kept the record open, and this brought an avalanche of letters and petitions from opponents.
The city planning staff had recommended approval of the change because it met various goals of the comprehensive plan. But the commissioners on Monday saw no compelling reason for the rezoning in view of the intense opposition. They noted that even without the change, the developer can build the main thing he said he wants: housing for seniors and working people who rely on public transit.
The present zoning of the vacant land allows up to about 300 apartments, which the city has said would yield up to 192 car trips during peak hours. Opponents of the zone change said they were worried about more traffic and other effects on nearby residential areas.
Unless the applicant appeals the commission’s action, the zoning case is over. If there is an appeal, the city council will have to decide. (hh)