Corvallis Planning Gives Nod to Admin/Industrial Mix

The City of Corvallis Planning Commission filed a recommendation to accept a request from Benton County to allow government offices as a permitted use in three industrial zones – Limited Industrial-Office, Limited Industrial, and General Industrial.   

Sarah Johnson, the planner in charge of this issue, explained the process. “The change has not been completed yet. It still has to go for review by the City Council. The Planning Commission gave a recommendation to approve the proposed change. The change was originally requested by Benton County; in the application and the staff report they list their reasons for the application. The City Council then agreed to initiate the text amendment process – which is the way text amendments get put on the docket … Then it goes to the Planning Commission for a recommendation and then goes to the Council for a final decision.” 

Planning considered two specified goals while determining whether or not to approve this text change. The first goal considered “calls for diversification and improvement of the economy. It asks communities to inventory commercial and industrial lands, project future needs for such lands, and plan and zone enough land to meet those needs.” Currently, there is a surplus of land needed for industrial use in the area, so the office space would not hinder industry.   

The second goal considered “calls for efficient planning of public services such as sewers, water, law enforcement, and fire protection. The goal’s central concept is that public services should to [sic] be planned in accordance with a community’s needs and capacities rather than be forced to respond to development as it occurs.” In the current planning zones available, there is none specifically set aside for civic use. This fact allows the Planning Commission to fit administrative purposes into whatever other zones they may be reasonably connected to.  

Johnson went on to add that “the city and the county currently already have a number of associated administrative services together in other industrial zones that support our public works and engineering folks.”   

The Planning Commission looked into the impact this wording change might make to the City of Corvallis and decided that the impact would be minimal.  

“The Planning Commission did deliberate and decided last week to forward a recommendation for approval,” Johnson said. “It will be going to the City Council on Sept. 6 for their consideration which will be a public meeting.”  

By Sally K Lehman 

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