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A plan to build a Bonaventure senior living facility on Timberhill went before the Corvallis Planning Commission on Wednesday night but requests to hold the record open means no deliberations on the plan until the Feb. 6 meeting.

Opponents of the plan expressed concerns during a two-hour public hearing about density issues and whether some of the variations from code that the developers have requested have the appropriate compensating benefits. Proponents cited the need for such a facility in town.

Bonaventure, which is based in Salem and runs 26 other similar facilities, hopes to build on a 5.43-acre site that juts to the northwest from the intersection of Kings Boulevard and Northwest Century Drive. The project would consist of 150 units divided into three levels of care: independent living (62 units), assisted living (61 units) and memory care (27 units).

The developers have asked for variations from city code on maximum setbacks, hillside development cut and fill standards, block perimeter standards, pedestrian-oriented design standards and the width requirement for a multi-use path that is proposed for the site.

The applicant is requesting authority for four-story buildings with a maximum height of 38 feet. City code limits construction to three stories and the overall height to 35 feet. The developer said that the buildings would be built in a recessed “dug in” way and that planting more trees and larger shrubs than required also would mitigate the impact of the larger buildings.

The city received 10 pieces of written testimony, with seven favoring the plan and three opposing it, although one person submitted two of the pieces of opposition comment.

During the public testimony at Wednesday’s meetings, three residents testified in support of the plan, with all of them noting that the Bonaventure facility is just what they are looking for to fill their personal housing needs.

Gretchen Morris, who currently lives with her husband, John, in the nearby Skyline West neighborhood, said she likes the fact that the proposed center would be close to medical resources, shopping and public transit. Morris said she and her husband had looked at other communities but prefer to live in Corvallis, where they have resided for 50 years.

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Molly Megraw spoke on behalf of the Northwest Alliance of Corvallis, which formed in 2015 to offer a community voice on development issues. Megraw expressed concerns about the density of the project, with the number of units, she said, violating the “spirit” of the city’s density rules.

City staff countered during its presentation that because the Bonaventure facility is classified as group residential and group residential/care the maximums for single-family units do not apply.

Megraw also said that the compensating benefits the developer suggested for varying from the setback, height and cut and fill standards were not substantive benefits to the public.  

That decision will be up to the Planning Commission.

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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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