It’s a whole new ballgame on Timberhill.
Because the city of Corvallis has removed a planned development overlay from the 200-plus acres GPA1 owns above the Kings Boulevard-Walnut Boulevard intersection, building projects can go forward without discretionary considerations or public hearings.
And the largest undeveloped chunk of land in the city limits zoned for residential use is moving closer to development.
GPA1 hosted a neighborhood meeting Tuesday night at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church and a standing-room-only crowd turned out to hear a presentation from the developers, ask questions … and occasionally groan and laugh.
GPA1 plans to subdivide the 200 acres into eight lots, with seven tracts of the acreage totaling more than 50 acres remaining open space. Roads such as Kings, Century, Shooting Star, 29th, Huckleberry and Garryana would be extended into the property to serve the new Crescent Highlands development. Kings, however, would dead-end at the north end of the property and it remains unclear where it might eventually emerge.
The first phase of the project would expand by approximately 125 apartments the Timberhill Meadows apartments to the north of the current complex.
Rob Wood, one of the GPA1 owners, said the project would be a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units with the possibility of some studios.
GPA1 currently is reworking its application, which the city deemed incomplete. The developers’ timeline calls for new information to be forwarded to the city by Feb. 9, a public comment period from Feb. 12-26 and the possibility of a March director’s decision.
Because the developers are not seeking any variances or zoning or comprehensive plan changes, no public process is required. Wood said GPA1 hopes to begin work by this summer, although the project can be appealed.
The residents who packed into the church social hall had plenty of questions for land-use consultant Teresa Bishow, the lead presenter, who was accompanied by Lyle Hutchens of Devco Engineering and Wood, Chuck Kingsley and Dale Kern of the ownership group.
Concerns raised by those present mirrored those brought up at public hearings on previous applications: earthquake faults, loss of trees, water and drainage issues, trail connections and the “downstream” impact of the additional residents on Kings.
“This was a badly put together and organized presentation,” said Kate Field, who has lived for 30 years on Northwest Rolling Green Drive, which is just east of the GPA1 property. “They did not clarify the questions the community has.”
Others in the audience agreed, as evidenced by the groans and laughs that occasionally interrupted the presentation.
GPA estimated that they will build a minimum of 860 units and a maximum of 1,715 in a buildout that Kingsley said could require 10 years.
Several audience members asked about The Hub, an 800-plus tenant project aimed for the student market that was proposed for part of the acreage in March 2015. That application was pulled amid an unfavorable staff report and strong community opposition. Kingsley said a new application was being worked on, but he did not have a timetable for when it will be submitted.
But the removal of the planned development overlay should make it easier for such a development to go forward.