Shady Cove to deliberate on McBee property, Aug. 6

Annexation and zone change of the 68 acres owned by McBee Properties, between Oak Ridge Drive and Sawyer Road was the subject of a hearing July 23 before the Shady Cove City Council. The property is currently zoned Open Space Reserve. The request is for a mix of low (10,000 sq. ft) and high residential density (6,000 minimum sq. ft. lot size.)

The issue was heard before the planning commission on Nov. 13 of last year and continued through Apr. 23, 2009. Leith Hayes, now a councilor, but a member of the planning commission when the McBee issue came before that group, declared that membership and removed himself from the hearing, sitting silently in the audience.

The planning commission stipulated eight conditions as they passed the issue on to the city council.

Among their recommendations was the establishment of a holding zone. This interim zone would apply to for the portion of property that would change from county to city zoning that would still need to comply with all approval guidelines.

A traffic impact study (TIS) must be done to consider the impact on the entire 68 acre parcel.  The recommendation made by the commission stipulates no land division or development will occur until the study is done and conditions met.

Conditions would run with the land, which means should McBee Properties sell the development, the conditions would continue to be in effect.

Another condition from the planning meetings said the city would amend financing strategies of its Local Street Network Plan, to expand and define private development funding mechanisms to provide transportation improvements that offset the impacts of development. And a list of several strategies was noted.
Finally, the planning commission said the applicant would prepare a transportation facility adequacy within five years of the final approval of the land use decision. This is in addition to the traffic study required at the time of  approval.

Dick Converse, Rogue Valley Council of Government, who assists Shady Cove in planning issues, said this 68 acres is one of one or two properties seen as part of the north-south transportation solution for Shady Cove. Should there be a major disaster that cut off Hwy. 62, there is no other way south out of the area.

Water is probably the biggest concern to the community. While Shady Cove is on the banks of the Rogue River and down only a few miles from Lost Creek, it lacks city water. Many have to transport water as wells go dry.

Herb Farber, consultant for McBee Properties said PremierWest now owns Waterworks LLC and has the equipment to put it in place for up to 80 units. This would be phase 1 for WaterWorks explained Brett McBee.

Public comment included one in support of the McBee’s request and three or four against or questioning the  the proposed development. Sewer connections and continued concerns over WaterWorks and permitting issues were the primary issues from the audience.

While Farber briefly addressed questions, he requested the record be kept open for seven days. The council discussed it and after learning that they were not required to meet at the end of seven days, they approved his request. The council will address the issue on Aug. 6 and then enter into deliberations.

At the afternoon workshop Justin Botillier made a presentation, similar to one made recently in Eagle Point, to put the audio recording of city meetings on a website he has. There were a number of questions and a seemingly positive response from at least part of the council. City Administrator Elise Smurzynski plans to discuss it with the city attorney before getting back to the council on the issue.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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