The Corvallis City Council said yes to a new dormitory for Oregon State University and no to the traffic circle at Northwest 10th Street and Grant Avenue during a 4 1/2-hour meeting Monday night at the downtown fire station.
Councilors voted 5-3 to approve the Land Development Code text amendment required to approve the $30 million dorm project, which would provide housing for up to 324 students by the fall of 2014.
The new residence hall will be built on what is now a parking lot on property bounded by Southwest Adams Avenue, Washington Avenue, 13th Street and 14th Street.
And it was parking that was the key stumbling block to the plan’s final approval. More than 200 parking spaces will go away because of the project during a time in which livability has been challenged by how many OSU students park in the neighborhoods.
Councilors Mike Beilstein (Ward 5), Penny York (Ward 1), Biff Traber (Ward 8), Richard Hervey (Ward 3) and Bruce Sorte (Ward 7) voted in favor of the plan.
Councilors Roen Hogg (Ward 2), Joel Hirsch (Ward 6) and Dan Brown (Ward 4) voted no. Ward 9 Councilor Hal Brauner was absent.
The vote to replace the controversial traffic circle with a four-way stop was unanimous, with longtime supporter Beilstein voting with the majority despite his view that the circle qualifies as a “mental health amenity.”
Hogg noted that a four-way stop would be less expensive, less confusing, easier to police and better for bicycle and pedestrian safety.