HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Those trees on Waverly are likely to go

Written October 27th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

The vegetation at 241 Waverly Drive S,E, hides a little house. The lot is being rezoned for denser housing.

The stand of bushes and trees you see on the east side of Waverly Drive between Salem Avenue and Pacific Boulevard is likely to disappear after the lot is rezoned for “medium-density” housing.

The 1.3-acre lot is at at 241 Waverly Drive S.E. At the request of its Bend owner, the city council on Wednesday voted for rezoning it from single-family to medium-density residential use. The action was not completed because Councilors Dick Olsen and Matilda Novak objected to the second reading of the requisite ordinance at the same meeting as the first. So it will come back for final approval on Nov. 10.

The owner has not proposed a development plan yet. But the medium-density zoning would allow anything up to around 30 apartments in three-story buildings. The parcel could also be developed with duplexes, triplexes or townhouses or even a “village cluster.”

Novak said she voted to delay the final approval because she’d like buildings limited to two stories.

The applicant justified the change in use on the grounds, among others, that multiple housing on the lot would be a good buffer between the single-family houses north of the site and the commercial uses (a car wash and lube business and a motel) on Pacific. Nobody asked how denser or taller housing would be a better buffer than what’s there now.

Councilor Stacey Bartholomew recused herself on the grounds that she had a “potential conflict” of interest, which she didn’t explain.

A nearby neighbor, Pam Briggs, testified in opposition. She wasn’t against more housing there but said it could be accomplished with the present zoning. She worried about more traffic and three-story buildings, and she said losing the trees would be a “tremendous loss.”

Councilor Bessie Johnson said this was a good project. The city has to grow, she said, and building up is one way of doing that within the urban growth boundary. “Three stories isn’t too bad,” she said.

Councilor Ray Kopczynski had just come from a meeting where somebody projected that Oregon will have a million more people by 2040. “We can’t NOT plan for that growth to happen,” he said.

The final council action on the ordinance — changing the comprehensive plan and the zoning map on this parcel to allow more housing — will take place when the council meets on Nov. 10. (hh)

The story has been edited to remove one reference to a “developer.” The application is by the owner, and there is no development proposal.

 





20 responses to “Those trees on Waverly are likely to go”

  1. Steven Reynolds says:

    Councilor Olsen and Novak saved their butts this last meeting, but they better wake up and figure out pretty quick what’s going on, how to get involved. Debate in this city happens on Facebook’s Albany Happenings (almost 2/3 of the residents are in this group) and Next Door. I’ll be curious to see what residents have say on those platforms.

  2. StopTheGrowth says:

    We CAN plan for the expected growth. Put a building moratorium on the ballot. Let the PEOPLE decide, not the greedy “planners”.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      You want to see home prices skyrocket? Just limit the supply..
      .
      “I got my piece of heaven, now it’s time to man the barricades – keep those other people out!” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

      HB2001 will be changing & increasing the opportunities to have more. I’m all in favor of it.

      • Abe Cee says:

        Nothing wrong with keeping Albany from growing, Ray. There are many other places people can move without coming to Albany. Rather than grow Albany, perhaps the focus should be on repairing what is already in place and keeping it that way?

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          Point me to a successful city that hasn’t grown. We don’t grow – we die…
          I stand by what I said.

          • Abe Cee says:

            It depends upon what you mean by successful. Many of us in town would consider it a success if CARA went away, the streets were improved/repaved, sidewalks were smoothed out and population “growth” was limited to replacing those that move and/or pass away. Others would likely measure success by how many people we can cram into the existing city boundaries through infill and reduced dependency on automobiles for transportation needs. Still others would likely consider it a success if the city council didn’t bend too much to the left or the right when making decisions that are supposed to benefit the majority of the citizens who make up the center.

            As for cities with no/very limited growth from 2010-2020:
            Niagra Falls, NY
            Enid, OK
            Coral Gables, FL
            Cerritos, CA
            LaCrosse, WI
            Hoboken, NJ
            Logan, UT
            among many others per Census.gov data from here: https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-total-cities-and-towns.html#tables

            I’m sure not every city will be considered a “success” but they aren’t dying with consistent population for the past 10+ years either.

          • HowlingCicada says:

            Abe Cee: “””Others would likely measure success by how many people we can cram into the existing city boundaries through infill and reduced dependency on automobiles for transportation needs.”””

            An enormous amount of space is devoted to moving and storing cars — look at any aerial photo of greater-downtown Albany. Reduction in car-dependency would allow moderate population and housing growth without “cramming.” Infill development includes better use of parking lots and overly wide streets. End off-street parking requirements. Let the free market determine the price of parking in private space, and let the city charge for on-street parking to pay for the street improvement and repaving that you seem to want.

            The Big American Mistake of the past 75 years is the socialized system of car dominance.

        • Francois DeLacroix says:

          “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

          Benjamin Franklin

          • George Zakrzewski says:

            “Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.”

            Benjamin Franklin

      • StopTheGrowrg says:

        I have NO problem with home prices “skyrocketing”. You shouldn’t either. The value of your home increases, you can sell and move to Portland.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      “””Put a building moratorium on the ballot. Let the PEOPLE decide, not the greedy “planners”.”””

      An example of what conservatives like to explain as “two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.”

      “””I have NO problem with home prices “skyrocketing”.”””

      Well, thank you for being honest. Now we know better who is greedy.

      “””You shouldn’t either. The value of your home increases, you can sell and move to Portland.”””

      No, you can’t, because the same greed has overwhelmed Portland.

    • Steven Reynolds says:

      So you want more of a Sisters type of approach or a McMinnville? They seem to have a very different way of looking at growth and what type of development is allowed. They’re less than 50k so they don’t have the same requirements under HB 2001, but I don’t think zoning changes to increase density are part of the legislation, that’s far outside of the requirements. So far Salem hasn’t said you have to take single family zoning and change it to 30 unit housing zones.

  3. Bill Kapaun says:

    “The action was not completed because Councilors Dick Olsen and Matilda Novak objected to the second reading of the requisite ordinance at the SAME MEETING AS THE FIRST”

    What in the hell is going on with that? Sounds like lynch mob mentality.

  4. Dick Olsen says:

    Our charter says ordinances (laws) should be read two times at consecutive meetings unless the council feels the need to read them twice and pass them at the same meeting. The reason for this is so the public can become aware of whats going on and can react if they think it’s the wrong thing to do. Is it wrong for us to allow four story apartments next to Ms. Briggs back yard? I wouldn’t like it, how about you? What good is zoning if we go “belly up” for Mr. Big from Bend every time he wants a zone change to build more apartments?

  5. Ray Kopczynski says:

    “What good is zoning if we go “belly up” for Mr. Big from Bend every time he wants a zone change to build more apartments?”

    Careful there… You’re implying it would be OK for a “Mr. Big” from Albany to do so? :-)

  6. Sharon Konopa says:

    Uh, Councilors! The zone change is a quasi-judicial hearing! You have not made a decision yet, so no commenting guys!

  7. lisa says:

    Truly sad! Just makes the area more ugly to keep getting rid of wonderful trees. But hey, money right?

  8. Harry W Renouf says:

    Thought the City Services are already maxed out.

  9. TLH-ALB1 says:

    This urban growth is really about filling the city coffers. Attract and bring ’em in…more tax revenue. Problem is…when the economy takes a dump, jobs move away…the bills to accommodate the growth are still there. Yours and my tax commitment will increase, to pay for the committed expenses. Would rather see and hear the city “leaders” commit to fixing the deteriorated condition Albany has become…BEFORE…they commit to new growth.

 

 
HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path Daylight saving time DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River


Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering