A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Residents plead for their quiet neighborhood

Written August 25th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

The 1900 block of Linn Avenue on Aug. 1. Two three-story apartment blocks and the end of a third  are proposed on the left (north) side of the short street. Eads Park is in the background.

About 50 people are asking the Albany Planning Commission to reject changes in plans for a 120-unit apartment complex they fear would wipe out the main attraction of their neighborhood — its livability with quiet, tree-lined streets.

Forty-seven residents signed a petition, and others added statements of their own, against proposed changes in plans for The Banks, the complex proposed by Salem-based River View Holdings to be built on the Willamette River between Geary and Alco Streets.

The developers won city approval of a different plan for 105 units last year and want their new layout approved as a modification of the old one. The planning staff agreed in July, saying the new one met requirements of the development code.

The neighborhood residents appealed to the planning commission, and the commission scheduled a public hearing — virtual, online only — for 5:15 Monday, Aug. 31. To read the agenda and accompanying materials, and the instructions on how to take part in the hearing or just watch, check here.

The neighborhood residents argue that the plan is so different from the original that it should not be considered a modification but treated as a brand new application. Among other things, where the original put some town houses on the north side of Linn Avenue, the new one has two three-story apartment blocks and the end of a third.

Some neighbors also question how the former industrial site (plus property fronting on Linn) was rezoned for medium-density housing years ago, and whether the intersection of Geary Street and Salem Avenue can handle the additional traffic without a signal.

The applicants said they needed to enlarge the plan because construction costs and other factors had made their original unfeasible. So the question is: If the change is denied, either by the planning commission or upon further appeal, can this complex be built at all?

The intersection of Geary and Salem Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 1.

15 responses to “Residents plead for their quiet neighborhood”

  1. William Ayers says:

    So straight up, the question I always ask is – What is fueling this growth? I really would love to hear the answer… Some say we have become a bedroom community for Salem and Eugene etc… Some say it’s Californians fleeing to Portland and Portlanders fleeing to here and other places. Children growing up and needing housing? how are these builders able to project with such certainty? Especially in these times. Admittedly I’m not good a researching these things but to the naked eye this amount of growth looks exceptional…! Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me….maybe.

  2. John Klock says:

    Community grass roots democracy in action.

  3. Cindy says:

    Overpopulation is fueling the growth! Its sad, we are ruining this planet by selfishly multiplying like rabbits!

    • HowlingCicada says:

      I completely agree about overpopulation. The problem is that each side of the current political divide has its own political correctness that prevents it from publicizing reality.

    • Rich Kellum says:

      Sorry, Cindy, you should check out your statement against the facts, the increase is coming from outside Albany, Many from immigration both legal and illegal…

    • Lloyd Fenwick says:

      That is precisely correct. It is amazing that we continue to ignore the fact that overpopulation is at the heart of our environmental issues.

    • Al Nyman says:

      I hate to correct you but without immigration the US population would peak and start downward. Since 2015, the rate of increase is down to .006 and as Trump continues to stop immigration it continues to decline. I also agree with the statement about who is employing these people.

  4. William Ayers says:

    I do hope these folks are able to preserve their quiet streets but that means the high density mess is probably comeing to a neighborhood near you!

  5. James Engel says:

    Aww Cindy. Were you a product of a “multiplying rabbit”?? Have you “multiplied” any others in your years? Cramming that many units at a rivers edge is just nonsense! Maybe a 4-plex or something like that. That developer is just skimming $$ off the project with no concern for the locals. And to change the plan mid-way thru is just a slight of hand trickery!

    • Cindy says:

      No, I’m an only child.. Also I’m in my 40’s & child free!! There is no way in h*** I would bring a life into this world!!

      • Peggy says:

        I say “to each his own.” I also say children are the most rewarding pursuit life has to offer. One misses a great deal of life’s importance by not having children. If I were to do life over, I would have had more.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      I’m a 70’s male version of Cindy. Almost no way in h*** would I have brought a life into this world in my entire adult life.


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