If you thought that a North Albany rezoning request would fade away in the face of strong neighborhood opposition, forget it. At least it hasn’t yet.
On May 24 the city council continued a public hearing on the request by Portland developer Jim Winkler to rezone 12.7 acres off the north end of Pleasant View Way and west of the North Point subdivision. He is seeking the rezoning from apartments to mixed use in order gain more flexibility in how to develop a cluster of apartment houses and related services. The property could hold about 300 units.
Neighbors have expressed their opposition in letters to the planning department as well as statements to the council and, before then, to the planning commission. About the only support for the request came from Samaritan Health Services, which has medical offices nearby.
The planning commission held a public hearing and then turned down the request, and Winkler took his case to the council. He then asked for the continuance to allow him to make a presentation to the council showing what kind of development he had in mind. The presentation apparently had fallen victim to a computer problem in Portland.
This week I learned from David Martineau, lead current planner in the Albany Community Development Department, that Winkler intends to press on with his appeal, and the public hearing before the council will resume on Aug. 9.
Because the date had not been set at the time of the last hearing, the city will have to send notices of the date to everyone who submitted testimony, either in writing or in person.
The planning staff has recommended approval of the request because it meets goals of the comprehensive plan for denser housing close to stores and services. The council will have to choose between scores of neighbors on one side and, on the other, the adopted plan. (hh)