A national student housing developer filed a revised land use application with the city on Monday, clearing a key checkpoint in its bid to win approval for a large apartment complex on the Witham Oaks property.

Campus Crest Communities of Charlotte, N.C., has an option to buy the 95-acre site on Northwest Harrison Boulevard west of 36th Street. A previous owner planned to build a 221-home subdivision there but lost the property in a bankruptcy proceeding after the housing market crashed.

The revisions don’t substantially alter the company’s original proposal, filed late last year. Instead, they fill in gaps identified by Corvallis planning staff.

The deadline to file the revisions was set for 5 p.m. today.

Campus Crest has applied for a zone change on 27 acres of the property from low-density residential to medium-high density. The company wants to build an apartment complex aimed at Oregon State University students, with roughly 300 apartments and around 800 bedrooms.

For the remaining 68 acres of the property, the company is asking for a zoning designation of open space conservation, saying it wants to create a permanent conservation easement.

The proposal has drawn opposition from neighborhood activists who say it would impact community livability as well as from the Friends of Witham Oaks, a group formed to try to preserve the wooded property as a natural area.

If the revised land use application from Campus Crest passes muster with city planners, the company’s two-part request for zone changes and comprehensive plan amendments would be scheduled for a hearing before the Corvallis Planning Commission.

An additional public hearing would also be required before the City Council.

Contact reporter Bennett Hall at bennett.hall@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9529.

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Special Projects Editor

Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald

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