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The city of Wilsonville moves the contentious redevelopment closer to fruition

COURTESY PHOTO - Wilsonville City Council approved the zoning change and map amendment for a new five-lot development near Southwest Canyon Creek Road.

Following extensive meetings at the Development Review Board and a special City Council meeting Tuesday evening, May 25, it appears that issues over a new subdivision in the Canyon Creek neighborhood could soon be resolved.

This is because neighbors in the area who had considered appealing the DRB's decision to approve the development did not do so, while the City Council voted to approve the zoning change and map amendments for the property May 25. The council will consider a second reading of the resolution June 7.

The new subdivision would replace one ranch-style home with five lots on a 2.25-acre plot of land near Southwest Canyon Creek Road. A group of a couple dozen neighbors were unhappy with the plan, particularly due to the potential for more illegal parking to take place on Daybreak Road and possibly challenge emergency vehicle access. They also were concerned with setbacks being too small and the removal of large trees.

Following staff review and a marathon meeting last month, the plan was changed from eight lots to five lots, fewer trees were designated for removal, parking was added to a public street and an open space area was moved.

The council decision paved the way for density on the property to be increased from zero to one to four to five lots per acre and the zoning to be changed from an agricultural holding zone to a planned residential development zone.

Mayor Julie Fitzgerald, Council President Kristin Akervall and Councilor Joann Linville all voted in favor of the resolutions allowing the project to go forward. Councilors Charlotte Lehan and Ben West were absent.

"This is not an easy issue. I do think we have the 15 of these 19 lots (in the area that) have been developed with similar zone changes. I think there's a record of the history of events that show this was the plan for this area, so I do support that we approve this ordinance, but I acknowledge that this is a difficult decision for our community, and it's taken some work to get to the place we are now," Akervall said.

Some neighbors who testified at the meeting, however, were still unhappy about the project and the public process that led to the decision — particularly the amount of time they had been allotted to speak at meetings and about not being able to talk about specifics of the DRB decision during the council session.

They also felt that the elected body was approving something without having seen the final product, because the final design had yet to be completed following changes to the plan. The DRB soon will be presented with a revised site plan.

Linville thanked the residents who participated in the process and told neighbors they made a difference in facilitating an improved redevelopment compared to what was initially proposed.

"I think it has made a difference. I think the developer has heard concerns and staff and the DRB have as well. I'm hopeful as this moves down the line you will have the opportunity to have your concerns heard," Linville said.


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