Neighbors question riverside apartment plan – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Neighbors question riverside apartment plan

Written May 14th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The riverside path alongside the property proposed for The Banks apartments on May 13.

Neighborhood concern has prompted the city planning division to schedule a public hearing on a riverside apartment complex proposed near Bowman Park.

“We received eight written comment letters,” planner Melissa Anderson told me this morning. “Due to the public interest in the project, the Community Development Department will be initiating a public hearing and sending out notice to conduct a public hearing before the Planning Commission on June 17.”

Willamette River View Holdings owns about 6 acres on the river east of Bowman Park, including the former Permawood industrial site and adjacent lots on Linn Avenue. The owners submitted a site plan for 96 apartments and nine townhomes, plus a clubhouse and 217 parking spaces. Their name for the project: “The Banks.”

The public comment period ended May 6. At issue is whether the site plan meets criteria in the city’s development code. The site’s zoning allows for apartments, and the planning staff could have made the decision on its own but decided to let it go to the planning commission instead.

I took a look at the letters from neighbors today. They came from residents on nearby streets such as Front and Willamette Avenues and Alco and Chicago Streets. The writers are mostly concerned about the overall effect of the project on their neighborhood. They doubt that their streets can accommodate the additional traffic and wonder who will pay to upgrade them.

Of particular concern is the intersection of Geary and Salem Avenue, rated as one of the city’s most frequent crash sites and the only one without a signal.

One couple living on Front Avenue also questions whether the development is in keeping with the Willamette River Greenway. They fear the complex will destroy riverside habitat and interrupt wildlife migration routes.

The Albany development code lays out criteria the project must meet. They include that it be “reasonably compatible” with the neighborhood and that the transportation system can handle the additional traffic. Along the river, the code also says wildlife and scenic qualities of the banks must be protected.

Whether these and other criteria are met will be up to the planning commission to decide when it meets on June 17. (hh)


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4 responses to “Neighbors question riverside apartment plan”

  1. J. Jacobson says:

    The crush of humanity is the culprit here. Simply put, a 5# bag is incapable of absorbing 10# of Homo sapiens. Simple math tells us that human bloat on the planet will almost inevitably destroy that very planet. There are mathematical predictions, based on the seeming absence of advanced alien civilizations, which say the reason why is that most civilizations who achieve a level of technological development destroy themselves, most often by ecological devastation or the equivalent of full-on nuclear war, or a blend of both.

    The lack of vision will get you every time. The most likely response will be to satiate the short term. In the very near future the only question about new housing development in Albany will be…how many stories tall will future apartment be?

  2. H. R. Richnerr says:

    The world population growth rate is diminishing markedly. It will approach one percent per year soon and won’t stop there. The only thing this is not good for is the dystopian science fiction community.

  3. Craig says:

    I once heard that you could fit everyone in the world into the state of Texas. I did some math and found that if everyone was divided into 4 person families, there would be 11 families per acre. That is a little tight so if everyone moved to Mexico, you could have 4 families per acre. When I look at google earth and zoom out it sure looks like there is plenty of land out there.

  4. DeeDee Biegel says:

    I’m happy to see someone wants to improve that area of the riverside! I think too many homeless river people live in that area and maybe the apartment improvements will fix some of that problem.


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