Saturday, March 2, 2019

First Look at State Hospital North Campus Concepts

If you've been to some of the adjacent neighborhood associations, this will not necessarily be news, as they have already seen presentations.

But for the rest of us, a Public Hearing Notice is the first opportunity to look at the concept proposed for the first project on the North Campus of the State Hospital.

The City's already working on the Yaquina Hall rehab and remodel, but this is the first private development on the grassy fields after the buildings were all demolished.

Concept for 211 apartments; next phase for houses along D St.

The apartments would go in the middle section of the east parcel
The matter at the Planning Commission is only a rezoning. There is nothing about the site plan, design, or other building details:
A Minor Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment and Zone Change from Public and Private Health Services to Single Family and Multi-Family Residential designations to allow for a future mixed density residential development, and a subdivision to further divide the subject property into four lots.
I don't think there's really anything to criticize here, and it's hard to see this in any way other than a necessary, routine matter.

Maybe someone will develop a legitimate critique, but it seems to me that any observations about the prospect for a cookie-cutter apartment complex are not at all relevant to this stage of the process. (Though of course we can still register our disappointment that this is the direction things are heading.)

A proposal for a triplex on Market Street
Just in time for the missing middle design standards conversation, here's a Hearing Notice for a proposed triplex on Market Street.

From the Design Standards Workshop earlier this week
Is this a "Type III" Public Hearing that is proposed to become a "Type II" process instead?

If so, the shifting nomenclature, "Class 3" vs. "Type III," obscures the process for non-specialists, and the City might consider standardizing language.

In any event, this project might be a useful case study for the changes proposed in the missing middle standards - this is how we do it now, this is how it could be done, etc.

Update, April 17th

Last night the Planning Commission was to have met to consider a set of proposed changes on the project.

More apartments!
Here are the Hearing Notice, Staff Report, and supplemental Staff Report. There may yet be more negotiating. We'll see what it looks like when they finally wrap.

It remains sad that they couldn't keep more of the street grid and use more missing middle forms rather than the hard transition between single-family and three-story walkups set on a parking lot.


Susann Kaltwasser said...

It is pretty clear that a lot of the trees will be lost with both the apartments and the houses. A few might be kept, but the plat design shows where many trees will be displaced. And even the ones that are kept will likely be damaged by the construction activity. You have to get a copy of the application to see the full impact.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Here is a site where I wonder if concern for trees is being used mainly as a way to try to reduce the intensity of development.

There is a large stand of trees at the cemetery, as well as on the south side of Center Street, west of the main Hospital grounds.

Many of these trees on the North Campus site are Walnuts, which are dying from "thousand canker" disease, and will not last very long into the future.

Because of the age of remaining healthy trees, that most were planted recently, and their overall distribution, this case seems very different from the stand of White Oaks at the proposed Costco site, for example. (Maybe someone will develop an argument to the contrary, however.)

In general housing and mixed-use development seem like a higher value than trees at this site, new trees will be planted, and here anyway at this particular site as the project moves forward, in future posts here I don't see spending much time fretting about tree preservation.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

I'm pretty sure all the walnut trees were taken out about 2 years ago. Many left are maples and a few oaks and some firs. Take a bike trip through the area and see if you can imagine the area with nothing but small newly planted trees amongst a whole lot more asphalt for cars. Oh well...a trees a tree right?

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

The applicant requested the Public Hearing be postponed to April 16th, and it looks like there might be some negotiating going on with neighborhood groups. So we may see a revised proposal, in addition to the conditions Staff recommended adding. More to say later!

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

I forgot to follow up before the 16th. They might have postponed it again. Added a brief note on the proposed changes.