A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Plan for apartments will have public hearing

Written June 17th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Part of “The Banks” development would front on this part of Linn Avenue.

While the Albany city planning staff has approved the site plan for The Banks, a 105-unit apartment complex on the Willamette River east of Bowman Park, it’s the planning commission that will decide the case after a public hearing.

Three neighbors who had submitted written comments on the proposal asked for a hearing before the planning commission, planner Melissa Anderson said. As a result, a hearing was scheduled for July 1. The meeting starts at 5:15 that day in the council chambers at City Hall.

At issue is the site plan for the development, which is proposed on about 6 acres including the former and long vacant Permawood industrial site on the river, downstream from the north end of Geary Street. The proposal by the Salem-based property owners calls for several buildings with a total of 96 apartments and nine townhouses.

The townhouses are proposed on the north side of Linn Avenue, a one-block street, replacing the two small houses there now.

Several neighbors had submitted written responses to a public notice of the project, expressing concern about it for traffic and other reasons. But the planning staff concluded the proposal complied with the city’s development code.

A few blocks away, outside the radius for city notification of neighbors, a resident asked me last week whether the commission hearing was already over. Let this story serve as a reminder to anyone who cares that it’s still coming up. (hh)

6 responses to “Plan for apartments will have public hearing”

  1. Fix the bridge says:

    Of course none of these occupants will add more pressure to the only bridge in Albany and for 20 miles. I say we just keep building until the bridge is nonfunctional.

  2. J. Jacobson says:

    The poor buggers who appeal these sorts of projects, hoping against hope that they might save the character of their neighborhoods, are fools.

    The regulatory regimen surrounding the siting of new construction was created not with the intention of protecting the status quo. This set of law and regulation was drafted largely by parties with interest in building new buildings. The City code on these matters was essentially drafted by the Building Contractors and signed-off on by a compliant Council.

    As a builder, once you’ve met these “stringent” requirements that you and your fellow builders created in conjunction with the Chamber types and the Council, you are free to build your brains out, local neighborhood concerns be darned.

  3. Jan Donnelly says:

    I am concerned that the City can’t support what city services we have. Denying First Responders adequate and proper compensation, only to build additional housing throughout the city. Decimating neighborhoods to build additional housing we can’t support. Traffic is bad enough, with no solutions being offered.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      Other things being equal, new housing is more valuable than older housing, especially in that area. Being more valuable, it generates more tax revenue and arguably creates less of a drain on city services than less-valuable housing. The “we can’t support” argument is invalid.

      So, the real problem is traffic. Denser urban housing creates demand for the alternatives to car ownership that would alleviate traffic. It will take some “out of the box” thinking to get there. Forcing growth to sprawl outward will only make traffic worse. Preventing growth altogether will diminish the city’s vitality.


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