Parking requirement could slow student housing growth
The Corvallis City Council unanimously approved Monday night its most significant land-use updates since 2006.
The council approved changes to the Land Development Code in five categories: housekeeping items, substantive items, changes on infill recommended by a volunteer citizens task force, new parking regulations for some large housing units and changes related to local food.
The parking regulations were recommended by the neighborhood planning workgroup of the Collaboration Corvallis project and are designed to ease parking and traffic problems in the neighborhoods caused by Oregon State University enrollment growth.
The regulations will require 3.5 parking spaces for some four-bedroom units and 4.5 for five-bedroom units.
Many such buildings are constructed in tandem, and the new code would double the parking requirement for two-unit complexes. Thus, two four-bedroom units would require seven spaces and two five-bedroom units would have to have nine.
Ward 2 councilor Roen Hogg cited four reasons for backing the new regulations.
“First, it fills a gap in the code,” he said. “Second, is the fairness issue. Everyone has to share the parking responsibility. Third, this does not prevent development. You can still build, and you can still build five-bedroom units on bigger lots. And fourth, the measure has broad support in the community.”
No councilor spoke against the parking plan, but Ward 5 councilor Mike Beilstein noted that the city “should be making it more difficult to use, own and store an automobile in Corvallis.”
City staff will work on final wording for the code changes for the Dec. 3 council meeting but that process is expected to be routine.
In its other major agenda item the council unanimously approved water rate increases recommended by city staff and approved Nov. 7 by the Administrative Services Committee.
The increases, which go into effect Feb. 1, mean Corvallis residents will pay 2 percent more for water, 3 percent more for wastewater and 7 percent more for stormwater.
The combination of the three increases will add $1.68 to the average monthly bill of $56.01. According to city staff, Corvallis pays lower water rates than other comparable Oregon cities, including Hillsboro, Salem, Eugene, Springfield, Gresham, Beaverton, Albany and Lebanon.
In other action the council:
• Approved plans for three vehicle exits for the under-construction CCC Plaza at the corner of Northwest 9th Street and Spruce Avenue. At issue was whether the exit to Northwest Cleveland Avenue was prudent given neighborhood concerns about traffic.
Councilors said they will review the situation a year after the shopping center opens. The center will include a Walmart grocery store and a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.
• Approved three new land-use application fees. The new charges are a $100 survey verification fee, a $652 solar access permit fee and a $3,912 floodplain development permit variance fee.
• Accepted an anonymous donation of $9,000 to assist in the repair of the “dinosaur bones” art sculpture at Avery Park. The popular attraction was damaged in January 2012 flooding.
• Approved a plan to name the new Willamette Park picnic shelter the Rotary Shelter because of the fundraising and organizational leadership of area Rotary Clubs on the project. The group is halfway toward its fundraising goal. The previous shelter burned down in 2001.
WATER RATES UPDATE
WHAT: The Corvallis City Council approved rate increases of 2 percent for water, 3 percent for wastewater and 7 percent for stormwater
EFFECTIVE DATE: Feb. 1, 2013
IMPACT: The average ratepayer will pay an additional $1.68 per month
Contact reporter James Day at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day