Updated

The Corvallis Planning Commission has scheduled an annexation-palooza for Wednesday at the downtown fire station.

Commissioners will deliberate on one plan to add land to the city’s stock and will take the first steps to review two other annexation proposals. The meeting, at 400 NW Harrison Blvd., starts at 5:30 p.m., 90 minutes earlier than the commission normally meets.

Should all three annexations be moved forward by the Planning Commission and receive approval from the City Council, they likely would be on the May 15, 2018 ballot.

Corvallis’s voter-approved annexations process, however, remains in legal limbo. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill into law in March 2016 that limited voter-approved land acquisitions, but Corvallis, Philomath and the League of Oregon Cities have teamed up on a legal challenge to the new law, claiming that it is a violation of the “home rule” aspect of the city charter.

Corvallis is continuing to use its process, which refers annexations to voters, while the legal process plays out.

Here is a look at the three cases, in the order in which the commission will review them Wednesday night:

Caldwell Farms

The applicant, Caldwell Farms LLC of Corvallis, wants to bring 16.45 acres of land on the south side of Southwest West Hills Road west of 53rd Street into the city limits.

The developers want to change the current Benton County zoning, which requires a minimum of 10 acres per lot, to the city’s RS-12 medium to high density residential, or a minimum of 12 units per acre. The property currently is being used as a grass seed farm.

The applicant is not proposing any development or redevelopment at this time, according to the staff report from the city’s Planning Division.

The city, as of the Nov. 22 date its staff report was completed, had received two letters from residents expressing traffic, safety, noise and “visual barrier” concerns. One of the letters was signed by more than a dozen neighbors.

Good Samaritan

Samaritan Health Services wants to expand its Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center campus north into land the nonprofit organization owns that is under Benton County jurisdiction.

Samaritan wants to annex 17.3 acres and rezone it to professional office use. Although no specific development plans accompanied the application, Samaritan said during an earlier iteration of the process that it wants to use the acreage to add a mixture of specialty services, outpatient services, family health and mental health services and conference space.

Samaritan also would build up to 700 parking spaces for use by the new facilities as well as to offset parking on the current campus that will be displaced by a new surgery center.

In its original proposal, Good Sam had proposed to annex 84 acres it owns north of the hospital and adjacent to the city-owned Knotts-Owens farm property. The plan called for the use of 4.5 acres of city-owned land for the stormwater facilities the development would require. Samaritan also hoped to swap approximately 4 acres of city land next to the acreage it planned to use for new medical center buildings and parking for Good Sam land in the upper, more heavily wooded section of the property.

Concerns raised by the city’s Parks, Natural Areas and Recreation Advisory Board and residents who attended a Feb. 20 community meeting led Samaritan to alter its proposal. 

Although Samaritan’s earlier proposal triggered  community concerns, no one commented to the city on the scaled-down proposal.

Marys Annexation

The commission held a Nov. 15 public hearing on the 118-acre Marys Annexation. Deliberations were postponed until Wednesday because of a request to hold the record open.

The land currently is a tree farm north and east of the West Hills-53rd roundabout. All but about two of the acres are owned by David Lin.

The land is zoned by the county for either 5-acre or 50-acre minimum lot sizes. Lin wants to change that to 91 acres of RS-12 (medium to high density), along with 18 acres of mixed-use residential and 9.5 acres of open space.

Although no development plans have been submitted, the applicant submitted a “general land use plan” which shows a possible development strategy that would include approximately 1,100 housing units, most of them apartments, plus a park.

More than a dozen opponents of the plan either spoke at the public hearing or submitted material in writing. Concerns were raised about transportation, particularly traffic on West Hills and Timian. Opponents also sought clarity regarding just how much of the acreage would remain open space given that the rezoning proposal noted just 9.5 acres going to conservation/open space.

Three residents spoke in favor of the plan, including two who work in real estate. They emphasized the challenge that the low amount of available land places poses for the industry as well as its influence on housing prices.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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