A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

No controversy: Two developments get city’s OK

Written November 9th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

The green field behind the bike leaning on the “public hearing” sign on Gibson Hill Road has been approved for a 23-lot subdivision.

In what was pretty much a formality, the Albany Planning Commission has approved a 22-unit apartment complex on Southeast Salem Avenue and a 23-lot subdivision on Northwest Gibson Hill Road.

With conditions set by the planning staff and accepted by the applicants, both projects meet all the requirements of their respective zoning districts and the city’s development code. So there was no question that the planning commission would give them the green light, which it did, unanimously, in a Zoom meeting Monday night.

The so-called Riverwood Crossing subdivision is at 3118 Gibson Hill Road N.W., on the south side of the street. The owners of the 7.47-acre field are a family living in Granite Bay, Calif., a town on Folsom Lake near Sacramento.

The tentative plat approved by the commission calls for felling eight trees. The applicants have bought credits in a “wetlands bank” to compensate for destruction of wetlands when the land is developed. Storm water from the sloping land will be routed through a drainage system on the east side and held in a detention tank before being released to the ditch along Gibson Hill.

That much of North Albany’s open fields would eventually be covered by housing or pavement was made inevitable when the district was annexed by Albany in 1991. Riverwood Crossing, which is to be developed in two phases, is a step in that process.

At Monday’s public hearing on the subdivision, no one from the public spoke.

The hearing on the other project approved by the commission, the 22 apartments behind a house at 2941 Salem Ave. S.E., drew one comment from a neighbor across Salem Avenue. He worried about more traffic being added to the already busy thoroughfare.

One of the conditions the city is imposing calls for a raised median that will prevent east-bound  traffic on Salem from turning left into the apartment site. Presumably this will also keep apartment tenants from turning left on Salem.

The owner of the site, including the house fronting Salem, lives in Keizer. As part of the approval, the commission separated the house from the rest of the 1.46-acre site and also reduced the required buffering from the property to the east, the Wright Prototype machine shop.

If you’re interested in more details on these land-use applications, you can look them up on the planning commission’s agenda, which is available here. (hh)

8 responses to “No controversy: Two developments get city’s OK”

  1. GinnyJ says:

    Albany – where there are apartments on top of houses and houses on top of wetlands – that NOBODY can AFFORD!

    Our new Mayor must be loving this!

  2. Craig says:

    Still no plans to resolve bridge congestion. Lots of plans to increase traffic though.

  3. Pat says:

    It is pretty much a moot point to raise any objections or questions about the developments in North Albany. We chose this area when we moved to Albany due to the RS 10 zoning, but that is a misnomer as any development that requests a rezoning is almost guaranteed a change. Rest assured that the acreage next to the 7.5 on Gibson Hill will also be a new subdivision with high density housing. At some point the 45 mph speed limit will have change due to traffic volume on the two lane road.

    • David Ballard says:

      Not long ago we looked across the lane and watched cattle grazing in the pasture. Today we see a tall wooden fence and rooftops of the houses populating said pasture.

      Growth is all but certain if one chooses to live in a desirable location. The price to avoid development along with the associated frustrations growth brings may be to inhabit a dying little town in, say, Oklahoma or somewhere. Seems there are few choosing to pay this price.

    • StopTheGrowth says:

      I’ve said it before, we need a building moratorium on the ballot. Let them rebuild EXISTING buildings, but not existing open land.

      • David Ballard says:

        But, don’t you think this would be un-American and perhaps even a bit selfish? Property rights are looked upon quite favorably in this country. And because we are of the good fortune to have ours, should we prevent others the opportunity to enjoy theirs? We are all newcomers to the area at some point in time.

  4. MJ Stalnaker says:

    How does Albany plan to continue to provide water to all these new developments? At some point in the very near future, Albany is going to max out on it’s water supply and what plans do they have to remedy that issue other than to raise the water rates?


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