A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

This woodsy site is zoned for housing

Written May 13th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The bike is leaning against some brush on the south side of Franklin Avenue on May 7.

This wooded glen in Albany looks like it’s miles from the city. But in fact it’s on Franklin Avenue, just off Airport Road and I-5, surrounded by houses on one side and a trailer park on the other. And it may not look quite so sylvan for long.

I came across the property during a ride around town on a recent afternoon. I wondered how come the land had remained undeveloped, and so I looked it up.

The owners are two people whose address is a post office box in St. Paul, OR. County tax records say they bought the roughly 6.5 acres in 2015 for $197,000.

The land is in two tax lots, and the owners asked for the internal lot line to be adjusted to make two parcels of a little more than 3 acres each. The Albany planning division approved the request in January 2017. In its letter of approval, the city said a single-family home there was demolished in 2002 and the property had remained undeveloped since.

But maybe not for long. The land is zoned RS-6.5 or single-family residential. David Martineau, the planning manager in the city’s community development department, told me last week that while there were no current land-use applications affecting the site, “We have had inquiries about doing residential development, but nothing so far.”

It’s not likely that a developer would site just one or two homes among all these mature trees. So one of these days, sad to say, most of these trees will probably give way to houses and streets. (hh)


5 responses to “This woodsy site is zoned for housing”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Sadly, these trees are not really owned by the property owner. The city has declared effective ownership through the Tree Regulations in the Municipal Code.


    “Tree” is defined in the code. And if you want to do anything to that “tree” you must first pay a fee and obtain a permit. If you don’t comply, people with guns will show up and charge you with a violation or a crime (see Chapter 1.04).

    Welcome to the People’s Republic of Albany. You shall have a nice day.

    • centrist says:

      I don’t remember a fee or a weapon involved in removing a 3-spired cedar that likely would have taken out my neighbor’s house, a walnut that uprooted a transformer, or a maple with heart rot that pulled my water connection loose on the City side.Reasonable heads made reasonable decisions.

  2. Albany YIMBY says:

    Dear City of Albany,

    Keep allowing more sprawly neighborhoods beyond I-5 and North Albany while the inner city keeps building more self-storage facilities that we need so much to put the stuff we had in our houses so we can buy more stuff.

  3. J. Jacobson says:

    Until such time as Homo Sapiens learns to manage it’s rabbit-like reproduction, Hasso’s idyllic wooded lots are certain to be built, over-built and rebuilt to accommodate the burgeoning hoi polloi. It is time for serious discussion/action on shrinking the human footprint on a rapidly deteriorating planet.


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