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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

NA zoning case goes to council

Written May 20th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

Behind this barrier on Pleasant View Way N.W. lies the 12.7 acres at issue in the zoning appeal before the Albany City Council on May 24.

The Albany City Council faces a tough choice next week in the appeal of a controversial zoning proposal. A developer from Portland wants property in North Albany to be rezoned for a housing project, and neighbors have vehemently objected. The council has to take one side or the other.

The Albany Planning Commission on April 3 unanimously denied the zone change from medium-density residential to mixed-use commercial on five parcels at the north end of Pleasant View Way even though the planning staff had recommended that it be approved.

The applicant, James Winkler and his Portland company, Winprop I LLC, appealed on April 14. In a letter, Winkler argued that the planning commission had misunderstood certain technical aspects of the application. He also charged that commission members had made “factually incorrect” statements about permitted uses rather than focusing on the review criteria applicable to this rezoning.

The city council now has to hear the entire case anew. The hearing is on the council agenda for the evening of May 24. (The staff report swelled the council’s agenda to 254 pages.)

Winkler has not been specific about what he wants to build, except to say he’s planning for housing for seniors and others who like urban living including the use of public transit. The existing zoning allows up to 317 apartments on the land. The rezoning would allow a mix of residential and commercial uses in buildings up to 50 feet high. Winkler has agreed to a cap of 192 car trips during the afternoon peak hour. That’s the amount of traffic the existing zoning might generate.

Access to the development would be at three points: Troon Street to the east, Pleasant View Way on the south, and North Albany Village shopping center on the west.

The land at issue in the Winkler zoning request lies on the other side of these houses on Troon Street in North Albany.


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8 responses to “NA zoning case goes to council”

  1. Claudia Painter says:

    I drove into traffic congestion in the North Albany shopping center the other day and dread how traffic would increase with the proposed zoning change. The new grocery store hasn’t opened yet, and there are a number of empty commercial places now, so we already have congestion issues. Single family homes would be the best use of the field adjacent to my property. It is no wonder neighbors oppose the zoning request by out-of-town developers. Lesser projects will preserve our community.

  2. John Jay says:

    Developers peed in their own bed up in Portland, now they want to do the same thing in Albany. Albany has a real chance to do this planning correct. As governor McCall so masterfully put it, you don’t want to throw yourself at every smokestack that shows up in your community, Oregon is too nice a place to live, no need to settle for bad planning.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      What do you deem is “good planning?”

      • John Jay says:

        At a minimum, not diluting existing infrastructure and city services by adding residential units that use more resources and revenue than they generate.

  3. hj.anony1 says:

    Winkler (like that name, ha!) and his company should be more specific. How about putting forth detailed plans for all to pick apart?

  4. centrist says:

    Let’s see, the developer wants a zone change without committing to a design.
    Sounds like being asked to buy an invisible car because the salesman says it looks really cool.
    Can’t back that play

  5. Adriana says:

    It’s hilarious that people complain about “congestion” in N. Albany. Boo hoo, seriously? The longest I’ve ever had to wait heading toward Albany is 15 minutes, tops. Compared to the the true congestion in larger cities, it’s nothing to be too concerned about.

 

 
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