A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Hazelwood: Sale of little city park is complete

Written November 13th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

A wire fence and signs kept people out of the former Hazelwood Park on Nov. 11. It’s private property now.

In case you’ve not been keeping track, the sale of Albany’s Hazelwood Park to neighboring property owners has now been completed.

The city council had declared the 2½-acre park at 1999 Queen Ave. S.W. to be surplus property after the parks department said it did not need it and wanted to get rid of it to save on maintenance costs. And on Sept. 22 the council voted to sell the park for $120,000 to three sets of neighbors on Southwest 17th Avenue, whose yards back up to the park property.

The sale closed a few days ago, one of the neighbors, Nicole Schukow, announced on Facebook last week. And sure enough, by the time I rode past there to take a look on Nov. 11, the “Hazelwood Park” sign on Queen was gone, and public access to the land via the former park driveway was barred by a wire fence and signs proclaiming the place to be private property.

The buyers are Nicole and George Schukow, Sami and Todd Pulver, and Jill Zeller and Stephen Bray. They bought the park in order to save the stand of mature trees there and to incorporate the land, in three parts, as part of their backyards.

The families were the only bidders for the park after Creating Housing Coalition, the Albany nonprofit trying to build a village of about two dozen tiny houses, withdrew its offer, which was substantially higher.

The coalition said at the time it realized that development costs at that site would  have been too great for its project, called Hub City Village.

Since then, the coalition has tried to acquire a parcel of surplus land from the Greater Albany Public Schools but was outbid, Stacey Bartholomew, the group’s president, told me last week.

The Hub City group now has its eye on another property. They’ll no doubt announce it if and when they get it. (hh)

15 responses to “Hazelwood: Sale of little city park is complete”

  1. StopTheGrowth says:

    HERO’S!!! Let’s just hope law enforcement keeps the site from becoming a homeless encampment.

    • Francois DeLacroix says:

      The property is privately held. Albany PD has no business preventing homeless camps on private property. That issue, if it occurs, will be the province of the property owners. By the way, it seems an unlikely opprobrium – (Hero’s) All they did was sign a check. Or, has heroic been redefined?

      • StopTheGrowth says:

        Sounds like a person who needs to put up a “Welcome Homeless” in their front yard.
        I this case, they property owners were labeled “Heroes” for saving the stand of mature trees. Lord knows when it comes to “development” in our city, nature has NO support.

      • Abe Cee says:

        Albany PD certainly should be addressing homeless issues on private property or would you prefer vigilante resolution? Homeless camps may very likely be trespassing and would fall under police duty.

  2. Mike quinn says:

    Total shame that property had to be sold as excess property. It didn’t have to be sold. It’s just that the hub city coalition wanted it and lobbied for it then realized the development costs were to great so for the parks department to save face they still had to sell. It’s great for the 3 property owners but Albany just lost a great place to run their dogs. Wondering what city property will be declared excess to appease the coalition that I believe has a current city council person on its board.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Our streets are falling apart and you want a place to run your dogs? There’s plenty of country side available. Else don’t have dogs!

  3. Nathaniel Schroeder says:

    Absolutely horrible. The encouragement is disgraceful. I hope the neighboring homes are kept safe.

  4. hj.anony1 says:

    Well well, look at that wire “keep out” fencing with pink trim.
    Meet Albany Oregon’s fresh, new eyesore.

    I hope they have better plans. And by “they” I mean the new owners!

    • Nicole says:

      Oh don’t worry we do! This is just a very temporary “fence” until the permanent one is put up. I totally agree that it is very ugly to the eye but it will be fixed up!

  5. HowlingCicada says:

    The sale, at far below market value, was motivated by the stated intentions of the new owners. As far as I know, there is nothing legally binding to prevent them from developing it in the future, possibly removing the trees, just like any similar property. Please correct me if I’m wrong about the legality.

    If what I’m saying is correct, and development does occur (more than just 3 ADUs), my only problem is that the city got a bad deal.

    • Bob Woods says:

      Maybe not so bad… then no longer have to occasionally mow and clean up the property for the rest of time.

      It saves some money in the long run…and it it gets developed the city gets property tax forever.

  6. Not A Democrat says:

    Congrats to the homeowners! They dodged a bullet…Can you imagine two dozen tiny homes right up your backside? That’s 24 tiny houses! Wow! Somehow two dozen sounds not as bad…i.e. just a couple a dozen…that’s all! These people have escaped a torrent of drugs/trash/crime and menacing safety issues to their children and loved ones…They must be euphoric now that they don’t have to move and sell their houses below market! Congrats!

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