Councilors confused regarding several items in previously approved Redwood Landing development

There was all kinds of confusion at the Feb. 21 City Council meeting, not just among those attending, but among the council members.

The evening's three hour-hearing concerned an appeal on subdivision application 17-06 for Redwood Landing. The appeal by Daniel Webb on behalf of four homeowners within the subdivision area brought up additional council questions that initially weren't part of the hearing. The end result was a 5-1 council decision to reverse and deny the development concept plan. Because it was so late and there were other items to discuss on the agenda, the council decided to write up findings, about reversing and denying the application at its March 7 meeting instead.

But everything changed on Feb. 22. The council now will write up its findings at the March 7 meeting, or maybe it won't. At the Feb. 21 meeting the applicant, ICON Construction & Development, LLC had told the council it didn't want extend the 120-days necessary to appeal the development concept plan; but that changed a day later when ICON told City Hall it would accept the 120-day extension. Planning Commissioner Bryan Brown suggested the developer now may try to work with council members to make the changes council members are looking to make. He suggested the firm may offer another 120 days.

"This is a unique situation," Brown told the Herald.

The development concept plan was approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council last December. But since then four homeowners Linda Thomas, Andrew Jarmer, Ryan and Kerrie Oliver and Eric and Josephine Recht who live north of the proposed subdivision appealed the decision and asked for an extension to provide findings. They are concerned about the street plans cutting into their properties. That appeal period extended to Feb. 23.

But during the Feb. 21 hearing, council members asked ICON a number of questions, whose answers the councilors didn't appear to like. Those answers have to do with density of the property, parkland acreage dedication, lot size, open space and various street stubs in which some provided turn-around space for fire trucks.

The main issue concerns trading open space for lot sizes. In the development plan, ICON plans to donate at about six-plus acres for parkland around Willow Creek for use as a nature area. But they don't plan to provide space for cars to park. In return, the developer wants to decrease the lot sizes down to 7,000 square feet, changing lot sizes from a low density to a medium or higher density development. The council is concerned that this isn't feasible.

Most, if not all council members question the park dedication, lot sizes, feasibility of splitting the parcels and the spirit of the development concept plan.

Council member Traci Hensley noted that members had to "stay on criteria. It's not our job to change plans, it was approved." Council President Tim Dale agreed stating it's necessary to uphold city policies. He questioned if the council is obligated to remand the application back to the planning commission. "There are too many questions with only few specifics."

During the hearing, appellate supporters noted concerns regarding too small lots, traffic congestion, traffic calming and congestion on Teakwood Street and also on 19th Street creating a need for crosswalks and/or speedbumps and low density housing to keep cars at a minimum. Others expressed concern regarding water runoff from flooding, buffers for floods that kill trees and a foul smell on Willow Creek from beaver dams.

Another resident expressed concern that ICON was doing a bait and switch, while Bob McCall and several others suggested the new development use a homeowners association.

In other news, the council unanimously agreed to an intergovernmental agreement with Oregon's Secretary of State for electronic records management services, the city also has completed 23 liquor license renewals.

Council members also discussed a housing needs assessment and whether they would want to join with Clackamas County. During the discussion, most members indicated the city hadn't done one since the 1980s and that it would be a good idea, especially with Canby's portion of the cost at around $8,000.

"For our needs, $8,000 is a small amount to do a big study," said Mayor Brian Hodson.

City manager Rick Robinson noted with all the annexations currently it would be a good idea and could be completed over the next three years. The mayor said he didn't need a vote at this time, but further discussion could take place at the March 7 meeting.

Carol Rosen

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