Plans approved and permits issued to start building apartment complex on Villa Road

Construction will begin in February on a large apartment complex called Chehalem Pointe at the corner of Villa Road and Park Lane.SUBMITTED -  A ground-level rendering of the Chehalem Pointe apartment complex, set to begin construction in a few weeks

The 140-unit complex of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will sit on a 5.9-acre site that formerly held a small farm.

It was at the center of controversy when development of the land was first announced several years ago, then again in 2017 when the developer and the city fell two ancient oak trees to make way for the development and expansion of Villa Road.

According to plans filed with the city, the complex will include eight primarily three-story buildings, with some two-story sections on the west side of the site.

The apartments were originally known as Martell Commons when plans surfaced in May 2015 that the past owners of the land had requested a zone change from a low-density R1 to high-density R3.

The R3 designation allows an average of 16.5 units per acre, but the density is based on unit size. In order to build on Villa Road, the zoning first needed to be changed.

The city of Newberg had to first answer the question, does the city need R-3 land?

And, if so, is the Villa Road property a good site for the land? To address that question, the applicant for the apartments completed an updated housing needs analysis through 2030 using then-current population projections. The study found that the city has met 91 percent of its projected low-density needs and 51 percent of its medium-density needs, but only 11 percent of its projected high-density needs over the next 15 years.

The next consideration was that any development on that site would be required to do a half-street improvement along the frontages of Park Lane and Villa Road.

The new zoning was approved in the summer of 2015. In November 2016, developers of Martell Commons met with the city's community development department for a pre-application conference, which comes early in the development process.

Around the same time, the city had been discussing roadside safety concerns and widening of Villa Road for cars, bicycles and pedestrians. With that came the controversy over the fate of the two oak trees in July 2017, with the trees being removed soon after.

In addition, developer KWDS and the city have agreed that the owner will pay a share of the improvements along Villa Road as part of the city's project to improve existing transportation conditions in the area. KWDS's cost was about $343,000 for the improvements around the development. After several public meetings and KWDS meeting with the neighbors, the plans were approved in November.

However, concerns continued about increased traffic and privacy for the neighbors. KWDS paid for a consulting company to analyze future traffic conditions at the site.

It is estimated that the apartments will generate 972 average daily trips and around 95 trips during the weekday afternoon peak hours and are within the city's requirements. To help remedy traffic flow, a left turn lane from Villa Road onto Park Lane was recommended, however.

KWDS officials said they designed the buildings to be oriented to have the least impact on the neighbors and to construct the buildings without decks, patios or entries that would face any single family home to the west.

The site will include a six foot high, slatted cyclone fence on the west, south and portions of the east side of the property.

They plan on planting landscaping not only along the property lines but inside the project along the parking and living areas. The plan states that 47 percent of the site will be landscaped, which is more than the 15 percent required by the city.

The buildings will have pitched roofs and a mix of wooden lap siding and board-and-batten siding and will include colors that will break up the visual mass of the units, officials said. Chehalem Pointe will provide parking spaces for each unit and places for visitors to park. Many units will have either a patio or balcony for a private outdoor area and a five-foot sidewalk will be constructed along the Park Lane frontage.

The apartments range from 1,100 square feet for the three-bedroom units to 723 square feet for the one-bedroom unit.

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