By Denise Ruttan
The Corvallis Planning Commission waded through hundreds of pages of staff reports and extra testimony that poured in prior to its Feb. 4 deliberations on a development proposal known as Coronado Tract B.
That’s even after commission members heard hours of public testimony from a crowd that packed the LaSells Stewart Center Jan. 21. That level of spirited public involvement is not foreign to this project. The proposal to build a 10-unit apartment complex at the east end of Northwest Mirador Place has a long, thorny history stretching back to 1981. That’s when the project by developer Group B, LLC, was first approved. Before the commission was a third proposed modification to the 1981 approval.
The commission only took an hour to deny the proposal unanimously. Concerns about lighting, noise, locations of dumpsters, and compatibility with the neighborhood occupied the discussion. Though no more testimony was taken, a crowd of about 20 onlookers watched them deliberate.
“I really feel this is an issue of compatibility more so than whether it is developable,” said commissioner James Feldmann.
“In this case it’s as though you’re doubling the quantity of traffic. This isn’t just a one-off, this is 10 additional units. This project just feels like it is too much for the spot,” said commissioner Paul Woods. “Some way in the future it may be more compatible.”
The neighborhood consists of single-family homes and the Regent Corvallis Independent Senior Living Community. Much of the discussion focused on how the project would change the density of the neighborhood.
“This looks like a forced fit. It feels like you’re trying to fit two pounds of stuff into a one-pound bag,” said commissioner Roger Lizut.
The developer has 12 days from the day of the planning commission decision to appeal it to City Council.