Planning begins for future Frog Pond neighborhoods
With the Frog Pond West neighborhood filling out and an intensive middle housing project essentially completed, the City of Wilsonville is turning its attention to future neighborhoods east of Stafford Road and the south of Advance Road.
The city provided information and heard feedback from community members about the project to create a Frog Pond East and South Master Plan during a virtual meeting Thursday, Oct. 7.
The Metro regional government approved the addition of these neighborhoods into the urban growth boundary in 2018 in part as a way to address a dearth of housing supply regionally. The overall Frog Pond area (including West) is 497 acres and is projected to add 1,900 homes, according to the Frog Pond Area plan. Frog Pond East and South are projected to consist of roughly 1,350 homes (though those numbers could change significantly as planning is finalized).
Along with the homes, the neighborhood will have a 10-acre community park at the corner of Advance Road and 65th Avenue, which Planning Manager Daniel Pauly said is amenable to sports fields because it's flat. Meridian Creek Middle School, which has 490 students, already sits in Frog Pond South near Advance Road.
Further, the communities are slated to have a commercial hub on three-to-five acres of land at the northeast corner of Stafford Road and Advance Road. Consultant Joe Dills said this modest center could include a coffee shop, restaurant, dry cleaners and commercial spaces of that sort. The city plans to conduct an economic study to see what makes sense there. The city also plans to form a trail connection from the Boeckman Creek corridor into Frog Pond to provide residents a scenic place to stroll.
As for the housing mix, Pauly said that one way these neighborhoods will differ from Frog Pond West is that middle housing will be required to be allowed on all lots there due to House Bill 2001. Additionally, Pauly said that while the city has not discussed a mandate for middle housing (as was discussed in West) it is considering proposing that each block be required to have a mix of housing types. He added that the concept used in Villebois of having the densest housing built inward and more single-family homes toward the periphery may work well.
Pauly also didn't rule out the idea of apartment zoning being implemented, though he said that would be based on community feedback. Further, he said developers have expressed interest in building a variety of housing types.
"We want to prevent monotony one way or another. Requiring variety on a block level so one area is not all townhouses (for example) … we do want that variety as a basic concept here," Pauly said.
A few attendees who attended the meeting worried about traffic, particularly following the buildout of these neighborhoods and the development of a new elementary school in Frog Pond West. Additionally, the West Linn-Wilsonville School District plans to expand Meridian Creek Middle School to hold 750-850 students, pending the approval of a future bond. The school district also owns a seven-acre property near Meridian Creek, which it typically uses to house Chinese instructors who teach Mandarin at Wilsonville and West Linn high schools.
"My main concern is (if) all of the sudden we quadruple the density in the neighborhood and add an elementary school, Boeckman Road is going to become a freeway and that will add noise and a lot of traffic. That's mine and my neighbors' biggest concern," one meeting attendee said.
The Frog Pond Area Plan outlines some transportation improvements that would be necessary, but the city will conduct further traffic analyses to see what else needs to be completed. The city is also in the midst of a project to remove the dip on Boeckman Road and build a bridge there.
"This growth has been anticipated for some time. As we look long term into the future and think about what road improvements are needed, we've been thinking about this growth to make sure everything functions," Pauly said.
One meeting attendee worried about the future of what is already one of the most frustrating intersections for Wilsonville residents, at 65th Avenue, Stafford Road and Advance Road. Pauly said Clackamas County has requested federal funding to improve it.
"It is something that we understand, and all the parties understand it is an issue and the foundation is being built to get something done," he said.
The city is planning to host meetings with residents and schedule work sessions with the Wilsonville Planning Commission and Wilsonville City Council to fine-tune the plan with adoption slated for the second half of 2022.
"This is going to be a really collaborative process. It's important to have community input along the way," said city planner Georgia McAlister said.
For more information on the project, visit >www.letstalkwilsonville.com/frog-pond-east-and-south-master-plan.
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