West Linn City Council finalizes approval of Upper Midhill development
The West Linn City Council voted unanimously Monday, June 26, to approve a final order related to the 34-lot subdivision of single family homes proposed at 18000 Upper Midhill Drive.
The vote finalized the council's May 18 decision to approve the controversial project after much debate and a series of appeals. The council's approval — which it gave reluctantly — came with a total of 18 conditions of approval.
"You guys are on to business and we look forward to a successful project," Mayor Russ Axelrod said, "and, in the end, a nice addition to the neighborhood and the community."
The conditions of approval included the installation of a crosswalk at Highway 43 and Arbor Drive, the submission of supplemental geotechnical analysis at the site, the completion of traffic and construction management plans and the scheduling of monthly check-in sessions with the Robinwood Neighborhood Association.
Both the planning commission and City Council voted to deny the original proposal in 2016, citing continued concerns with safety on an already congested and aging Highway 43. The applicants, meanwhile, emphasized that the proposal was sound and would actually result in the minimum amount of homes allowed under the property's R-4.5 zoning.
In the months following the original 2016 decision, the City found itself in a difficult position when the developers threatened two possible responses: an appeal at the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) and a new proposal for 41 townhomes that would be evaluated at the state's Expedited Land Division.
At the applicant's suggestion early this year, the council opted for another route in reconsidering the original application. After the planning commission voted 4-3 to approve the application earlier this year, an appeal from residents Jason and Jessica Harra brought the issue back before the council.
That appeal was formally denied when the council approved its final order June 26.