Corvallis City Council approves massive land-use update, OKs water rate increases

2012-11-20T09:00:00Z Corvallis City Council approves massive land-use update, OKs water rate increasesBy JAMES DAY Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times
November 20, 2012 9:00 am  • 

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

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. Angus
    Report Abuse
    Angus - December 01, 2012 2:24 pm
    The new parking requirement will stop most housing construction around OSU campus. All OSU students have to pay for this bad decision now. There are some landlords already talking about how to increase their rent due to the short housing around campus area. This will force all of OSU students continue to pay higher rent (rent is increaseing every year around campus area). Without any new construction which mean OSU students have to continue live in old and filthy houses near OSU.

    Have city people looking into what is the best interest for OSU students. I guess NOT. You (city employee, HP, hospital..) all have nice big houses, good job, and family live further away from campus. You can just listen to some old neighborhood people's opinions around the campus. You all want to have many parking spaces, but this is not on the top of OSU stuent's list.

    Of course, you will argue if you go further out of city (maybe few miles away), there are more lands to qualify this new parking space requirement to build, but lots of students don't even have cars to drive. Now many students probably have to buy a car new if we live further away. There are three things is very important to OSU students: 1, being able to walk or bike to school and not wasting lots of time to commute. The gaseline price never stop to go up. No one want to drive if they don't have to. plus to pay the parking fee once you arrive the campus. 2, being able to live in a newer house, since most of houses around campus are are 50~80 year old. 3, being able to pay lower rent: if there is more housing avaiable or share with roommate on more bedroom houses.

    Under the new code, there are 4.5 parking spaces require for 5 bedrooms. This is crazy idea. This means every bedroom should have one parking space. Do you think every OSU student own a car? Do you think half of students own a car in their first two year? Go figure out this?

    I predict all of OSU students (victims) will have to pay this bad decision (i.e., higher rent, older house, more time to commute, more money for gaseline, parking fee, money to buy cars....) for the next 5~10 years.

    Feel free to forward this comment

  2. 23Harley
    Report Abuse
    23Harley - November 20, 2012 1:25 pm
    Most of use who have lived and worked here longer than 20 years say thank you to the City Council.
  3. TheRealJules
    Report Abuse
    TheRealJules - November 20, 2012 9:11 am
    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.”

    We who live and drive in and pay taxes to Corvallis thank Mr. Beilstein for his generous support. We look in awe at the civic planning expertise he brings back to us from every trip to visit Mr. Castro and his enormously successful social experiment on that tiny remote island.

    These are the mental gymnastics that we elect to our city council. Simply amazing.
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