A year ago the Albany City Council rezoned a 1.3-acre property with a single house on it in southeast Albany, and now a site plan has been filed for the place. It calls for attached townhouses, 35 of them in all.
The city’s planning division on Friday issued a public notice that it had received an application to review a site plan for a 35-unit townhouse development at 2710 Grand Prairie Road S.E., on the southeast corner of Waverly Drive and Grand Prairie Road. Public comment will be accepted until June 16, and then the planning staff will decide on the application.
Spies Real Estate Group of Corvallis is the applicant. In May 2020, the firm obtained a zone change on the property from “medium density residential” to “medium density residential attached.” The main difference in the zoning districts is that the new designation, as the name implies, requires houses to be attached.
The site plan shows three buildings, one along Waverly, another along Grand Prairie, and the third backing up to the property to the east, the parking lot of the LDS church.
Before the council approved the rezoning, Councilman Dick Olsen worried about where the residents would park. The site plan shows where: inside the development. A street or driveway lined by parking spaces runs between the buildings.
The plan shows no direct entry or exit on either Waverly or Grand Prairie. Instead, the internal drive connects with the LDS property at both ends. Presumably the developers have a deal with the church to allow access to and from their townhouses by way of the church driveways.
It’s not clear from the plan whether the dwellings will be for sale or rent.
The development is in line with the Oregon legislature’s adopted policy of densification — more dwellings on the available land within cities. This comes with a cost, as the city makes clear.
The Albany council next week, on June 9, is scheduled to vote on imposing a monthly “services fee” or tax on every household and commercial property. And the reason, the city says on its website, is this: “Albany is growing and so is demand on city services. Current funding isn’t enough to continue providing these services.”
By the way, if families with school-age children move into the 35 townhouses, the kids will attend Periwinkle Elementary, Calapooia Middle, and South Albany High School, respectively — unless the attendance zones change before the place is built. (hh)