By Kearney Shanahan
In what readers will no doubt remember as the longest, most intractable, and, ultimately, unexciting disputes in Corvallis housing history, the appeal on the Witham Oaks development to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) has succeeded in sending the case back to the city for more discussion.
City Council will gather to hold some of these discussions on December 1st at the fire station in Corvallis, on Harrison Blvd.
While there has been some drama within the ranks of Campus Crest, the North Carolina development company behind the project, mostly stemming from disappointing annual financials, the project had a major win earlier in the year when it was approved by City Council over vociferous opposition.
The plan would bring vitally needed housing for 900 OSU students, but has faced stiff opposition from the beginning. Opponents had environmental concerns as well as other more directly measurable issues with the proposed development. While housing is indeed in short supply, so, noticeably, is parking. The placement of the cars of these students was also a major concern, in addition to usage of the area, as it was originally zoned for low-density housing.
Most thought the issue was more or less settled with the City Council decision in early March approving the project, but opponents have been tenacious, and now the debate will continue.
Campus Crest could still decide to shelve the project, and withdraw their application, but as of now have no plans to do so, and the city is moving forward with this in mind.