As expected, the Albany City Council will once again be asked to decide what happens on the corner lot of Fourth and Calapooia where it authorized the demolition of three historic but dilapidated houses last year.
Mark and Tina Siegner, the Albany home builders and restorers who own the property, have proposed to construct two three-story buildings on the lot, with a total of eight apartments on the upper floors and commercial space below. They call it Calapooia Court.
The Albany Landmarks Commission rejected their plans last month, and on Friday the applicants filed an appeal to the council. The filing cost them a city fee of $910. Now the case goes before council for a new hearing, scheduled for June 24, with a decision to follow that evening or later.
The Landmarks board denied approval under its “historic review” procedure. The board voted 4-2 that the proposal did not meet requirements of the Monteith Historic District as listed in the city’s development code. The gist of the majority’s complaint was that the buildings were too tall and too massive for the neighborhood.
The plans meet the specific requirements of the “mixed use commercial” zone, where the lot is situated, on metrics such as height and setbacks and lot coverage. But the historic district regulations also apply, and those are not specific in terms of measurements or numbers, instead leaving it up to officials’ judgement whether a project fits in. (hh)