Lake Oswego is one step closer to identifying the Boones Ferry Road construction staging area as a potential site for an affordable housing project.
The City Council held a public hearing during a special meeting Sept. 14 and directed staff to return Oct. 5 with a final ordinance and findings for adoption to rezone the property to allow for multi-family affordable housing.
The Boones Ferry Road staging area, which is located on the corner of Boones Ferry Road and West Sunset Drive, is nearly 1.5 acres of land owned by the city and is mostly zoned for office-commercial use, with a small portion zoned for high-density residential.
In order for housing to be allowed on the site, zone changes and amendments to the comprehensive plan are necessary.
Staff has worked with the Lake Oswego Planning Commission to evaluate and recommend zoning options for affordable workforce housing on the staging site.
According to the staff report, the council signed a memorandum of understanding last March with the Housing Authority of Clackamas County and Metro "to explore options for developing affordable housing on the subject property using funds from the Metro's Regional Housing Bond and other sources."
Planning and Building Services Director Scot Siegel said they used a target of 50 units on the site to evaluate the zoning amendments, though he added that this was not an actual development proposal. The property, he said, uses the affordability criteria of a family earning at or below 80% of the area median income. For a family of four in 2020, that would be about $74,000 in Lake Oswego. Siegel said this is similar to what a Lake Oswego firefighter would make, or a household with an entry level teacher who has a partner earning minimum wage.
Staff said one potential layout that could fit on that property would be a three-building multi-family development with 54 units and 68 parking spaces.
Key issues raised through a public outreach process surrounded parking and traffic, though future development would require a traffic impact study and staff said they could comply with the city parking requirement.
Councilor John Wendland asked if the code and zone changes would affect other development possibilities. Siegel said this approval would add options and possibilities for the site, not subtract.
There were a few people who testified in opposition.
One resident said it would negatively impact West Sunset Drive, which is already a narrow road lined with single-family homes.
Renaissance Homes President Randy Sebastian opposed the plan and was under the impression that only 10% of units had to be affordable. He said he would submit an offer to purchase the property for $2.5 million and the city could use that money to purchase property in a "better" location.
Mayor Joe Buck said 100% of the units would be considered affordable because of the memorandum of understanding and the fact that they would use Metro Housing Bond dollars, which can't be used to build market-rate housing.
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