New development on the horizon
April provided a tale of two subdivision development proposals in Woodburn: one approved by the Woodburn City Council and the other rejected.
On April 26 the council voted to annex 31.13 acres known as the Schultz Farm Property on the west side of Boones Ferry Road NE, north of hazelnut Drive. That annexation and related land use applications paves way for "Dove Landing," a planned-unit development proposed by Pacific Community Design, Inc.
Two weeks earlier Trillium Reserve proposed a similar request that the city annex 39.68 acres just to the east of Boones Ferry Road for its own planned-unit development in territory known as the "Oregon Golf Association Property." The council said no.
What was the difference?
Woodburn Community Development Director Chris Kerr itemized some key differences between the two development proposals in the same general area just north of town.
The biggest issues with Trillium Reserve's proposal:
• Too few open spaces, none of which were proposed to be dedicated to the public;
• Lack of community benefits or amenities required for a planned-unit development, such as innovative design, children's play areas and other park improvements;
• Concerns about traffic impacts on the abutting neighborhood;
• Applicant's objections to making necessary frontage improvements along Halelnut Drive and Boones Ferry Road.
By contrast, Dove Landing developers furnished a much more appealing, and varied package.
"The Dove Landing development, located on the west side of Boones, included dedicating 8 acres of land to the city for a public park," Kerr noted. "They will also be constructing improvements within the park which will be available to the public , like trails, a playground, rest rooms. The Dove development also had a variety of housing types."
The latter element was appealing in that Dove Landing representatives pointed out different sized lots, including some that could offer affordability to first-time home buyers.
A city staff report from Kerr and Woodburn Senior Planner Colin Cortez noted:
"The development is 171 detached houses on small lots and among both private common area open space tracts and public parkland tracts. The range of lot sizes is 2,700 square feet to 4,400 sq ft."
Other development features included two street connections at Boones Ferry Road, off-street bicycle and pedestrian paths, an alley, on-street parallel parking and a planter strip with street trees.
Cortez described the development as "essentially a win-win for the developer and the city."
The park, which is proposed for the southern slice of the acreage, is a key feature to that end.
"For this project the most outstanding part of it by far is the dedication of parkland," Cortez told the council. "Quite clearly parkland is very much an enhanced public amenity that the city would not be getting (otherwise)."
Cortez said the amount of parkland proposed is substantial when juxtaposed to the city's existing parkland. For comparison during his presentation to the council he showed an aerial slide of Settlemier Park, which is roughly 7.8 acres.
"You can get an idea in terms of size how large this would be," he said.
Additionally, park improvements the developer will be installing include benches, picnic benches, bicycle parking, dog-waste stations, paths, a playground, plaza, restrooms, trash receptacles, a large shelter or combo medium shelters and a monument sign.
"We thought the collaboration with (city) staff was excellent," said attorney Michael Robinson of Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt, who represented the Dove Landing developer. "They had some very good reasons to change the applicants mind on the park.
"Originally we had proposed a park owned by the HOA with public easements, so folks could have used it...But we met on site at the new park; Jim (Row), Chris and Colin explained to us the benefits to the community of a pubic park dedication, and the applicant agreed with it."
That agreement included the park amenities.
"As Colin said it's not just the parkland dedication, it's the public improvements as well, and I would say the applicant is happy to make those improvements, so that we make a better community and a better subdivision when we come into the community," Robinson said.
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