What developer envisions in NA – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

What developer envisions in NA

Written May 25th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

Jim Winkler, the developer seeking to rezone five parcels he owns in North Albany, at City Hall during Wednesday’s hearing.

Jim Winkler would like to show the Albany City Council his concept of what he wants to develop on about 12 acres he owns north of Hickory Street in North Albany. But he says a Portland fire crashed the computer server on which the presentation was stored, so the council at his request on Wednesday continued a public hearing on rezoning his land.

It’s not necessary in a rezoning case to submit a development plan, and Winkler has not done so. But he says he’d like to give the council an idea to counteract mistaken speculation about what the rezoning might cause to be built.

More than a dozen people signed up or spoke against the rezoning of five parcels from medium-density residential (RM) to mixed use commercial (MUC). The land is at the north end of Pleasant View Way, west of the North Pointe neighborhood and south of the rail line used by the Portland & Western. The planning commission had turned down the Winkler request, and the North Albany neighbors urged the council to deny it too.

The opponents talked of many things, such as crowded schools, traffic, property values, and even potential floods. As far as I heard, they didn’t talk much about the criteria by which the city code says rezoning requests should be judged. The planning staff had recommended in favor of the request because the rezoning meets all the necessary tests, including that it fulfills the goals of the comprehensive plan.

Winkler, of Portland, says his Albany site is an ideal location for the kind of development he wants, a mixed-generational community of affordable workplace housing along with senior apartments. Families would have day care or a medical clinic right there. It would be a place for residents who like to walk or ride bikes and could do more of both because services would be on the premises or nearby.

A new supermarket and hardware store are being planned in the North Albany Village Center just to the west of his property. When I chatted with Winkler while the hearing was going on, he told me he understood the market now plans to open in September. No matter when it opens, no doubt the company planning the store would welcome another 300 families within walking distance.

The existing zoning allows the owner to build more than 300 conventional apartments, roughly the number Winkler has in mind for his concept too. He wants the MUC zone because it apparently allows greater flexibility in laying out the place — somewhat smaller units, less setbacks, and a building height of 50 feet, 5 feet taller than allowed now.

Planner David Martineau told the council that by Wednesday afternoon, the city had received 11 written comments and a petition with 158 signatures against the rezoning. There are 170 property owners within 1,000 feet the property at issue.

The city will notify neighbors when a date for the continued hearing is set. (hh)

The Albany council chamber was filling before Wednesday’s meeting, mostly with people there for the Winkler rezoning hearing. (That’s Assistant City Manager Jorge Salinas in the foreground.)




15 responses to “What developer envisions in NA”

  1. John Jay says:

    Does his development include a new bridge, new fire station for the additional “senior living” calls and of course a new police substation or is it just a bunch of cheap boxes stacked on top of each other? A development plan the rest of us have to subsidize with another bond down the road because no one bothered to plan for infrastructure expansion. These bonds are becoming nothing more than subsidies for cheap box developers.

  2. tom cordier says:

    Has the fire excuse been vetted or is it a case of “the dog ate my homework”.
    Re-mobilizing opposition can be difficult.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      KOIN reported: “An underground electrical fire caused a power outage left more than 2,000 customers in downtown Portland and the Pearl District without electricity all day Tuesday.”

  3. John Jay says:

    “affordable workplace housing” = Section 8, Section 8 = a much higher crime rate, a much higher crime rate = destruction of N. Albany and your tax base the city so relies on. That’s the reality of this equation. We don’t even have a enough money for a small roundabout, how are you going to pay for the infrastructure for all this development?

    These Portland developers think we’re a bunch of idiots down here, we know what they’re up to, Bury these small towns with their cheap boxes and destroy the infrastructure before they know what hit them. It’s the oldest scam in the developer playbook, get your boxes built and let the entire community bear the cost of servicing. Goal is to pay just a small percentage of the services the development uses, as all the cost are now amortized over the entire population and take the difference in profits back to Portland. Then of course we need to have a bond to pay for the services as soon as it becomes obvious how many more people the city is servicing, so now instead of the developer paying for the bond, we’re all on the hook.

  4. Jon Stratton says:

    The fact that he doesn’t keep a copy of his plan, at least in a rendered form if not details, on a portable drive tells me all I need to know about this guy’s planning capability. It seems to me that something needs to be done to the city code to change re-zoning requirements to include making sure there is enough infrastructure (roads, traffic control, public safety, water, sewer, storm water management, etc.) in place to handle the re-zoned property BEFORE it gets re-zoned. Also, development plans should be required for re-zoning requests and should be considered a contract the developer, or any future developer, must adhere to.

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Absolutely! No archived copy? No physical copy?

      Council should look down upon this as suspect at best. Dubious for sure!

  5. Mike says:

    If your concept for living spaces needs a “mixed use commercial” zoning designation, then your plan isn’t very good. If it is going to be predominately living space, then it should be zoned that way. The zones were created to make sure builders were held to a certain standard, and it seems this is a play just to get around the standard that was set.

  6. John Hartman says:

    While rife with challenges, perhaps CARA could approach Elon Musk, forming a Hyperloop Partnership. The end result would be an underground, under-River Tunnel with Hyperloop Pods delivering weary N. Albanians to and from the Carousel. By doing so, CARA would subtlely be extending it’s tentacles across the Mighty Willamette, engulfing the once pure North Albany, subjecting the previously innocent exurban area to the same inner city chaos downtown Albany residents adjusted to long ago.

    • John Jay says:

      John, I’m not sure I understand your argument. Are you looking for revenge against N. Albany for some perceived slight experienced by those living downtown? You do realize how much of the community resources are being used for downtown? CARA has done what it’s suppose to do, gentrification of a particular area that was run down (Blight). I don’t see how hurting N. Albany is going to help you in some way, other than making you feel good that you’re sticking it to those “pure” N. Albanians. The Linn County Tax Assessor is going to have a tough argument going forward that real market values are increasing while you’ve destroyed property values with this type of development.

  7. Gothic Albany says:

    What developer envisions in NA: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  8. Claudia Painter says:

    Let’s re-zone! Change the property designation to allow only single-family homes and duplexes. Will our elected officials respond to the community? By the way, entering the property via the shopping center will overwhelm the parking lot with grocery traffic, and more crowd the center if the empty stores are leased, more with spaces used by the overflow of cars belonging to the proposed property residents. Please City Council . . . preserve our community. No devastating over-development.

  9. centrist says:

    Well folks, this is neither Mayberry nor 1951. Development has already happened. As long as people seek a place to live at a price they can afford, someone will come forward to develop for profit

    • John Jay says:

      Then you won’t mind if we fight. Again I’m going to quote Governor McCall,

      “…Oregon is demure and lovely, and it ought to play a little hard to get. And I think you’ll be just as sick as I am if you find it is nothing but a hungry hussy , throwing herself at every stinking smokestack that’s offered.”


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