To zone or not to zone? This was the issue at the Apr. 23 Shady Cove Planning Commission meeting, which was a continuation of the request to annex 68 acres. Attendance was lower than in past hearings.
City Planner Dick Converse presented a staff report which included commentary and concerns regarding the re-zoning of 68 acres between Oak Ridge Drive and Sawyer Rd. from Open Space Reserve to Low Density and High Density Residential. Concerns included: a need for the applicant, McBee Properties, to guarantee adequate sewage for any building will be provided as well as water and linked to that would be adequate fire suppression capabilities. The required ODOT transportation study is underway; however summer travel figures need to be included. The proposal discussed was to allow a "holding zone" to be put in place while the transportation study is paused until summer travel can be accounted for.
Presenting the applicant’s testimony was Herb Farber, the agent for
McBee Properties. McBee would like the re-zone approved as they don’t
want to invest any further monies into development without some
certainty the project will move forward.
In answer to
concerns raised by Converse, Farber stated the current sewer system is
capable of handling the proposed new construction. As to the issue of
water (isn’t that always the issue?) he advised he had an email from
Kim Short, trustee for Shady Cove Waterworks, assuring him progress is
being made on the plant.
In opponents’ testimony both Jane
Hagan and Olin Shanrock questioned how this could be possible as the
current building permit for the plant has expired and no new permit is
Farber answered that he takes Short at her word.
Further if no water is provided as promised, there will be no
development and he feels "No one will be harmed except McBee."
for proponents was David Pyles of ODOT. Per Pyles, ODOT supports the
proposed re-zoning and subsequent construction and feels "This is an
opportunity" for the City of Shady Cove.
present there are no state planned improvements for streets in the
affected area. With state dollars in high demand, Pyles feels Shady
Cove will have a better chance of attaining state funding if the
proposed construction takes place.
It was noted that if the
proposed "holding zone" goes through and thus the continuation of the
transportation survey that all street construction/changes deemed
necessary as a result would need to be mutually agreed upon prior to
any eventual housing construction.
Once all present had
their say Commissioner Wanda Varietta moved to recommend to City
Council that they adopt a resolution of intent to re-zone.
Erin Elder seconded the motion and it was passed 3/0 (note:
Commissioners Jack Stout and Donna Barrett were absent, but each
presented their thoughts via letters read by Commission Chair Shirley
Converse asked that the issue be brought to city
council in their June meeting, so if you want to attend the next round
of "As the Zone Turns" look for posted agendas then.
By Christy Pitto
Of the Independent