Efforts to set up an urban renewal district in South Corvallis have taken another step forward.
The Corvallis City Council unanimously approved three motions on the topic at its Feb. 20 meeting. The motions by Ward 3 Councilor Hyatt Lytle will authorize:
• The formation of an initial advisory body that will work with city staff and the project consultant, Elaine Howard Consulting, on developing the plan. The departmental advisory committee will consist of two to four councilors, representatives of property owners, a taxing jurisdiction representative, economic development and land use experts and community representation.
• That the urban renewal agency will be the City Council.
• And that a joint meeting between the council and the advisory board be set up to kick off the project.
The project has $90,000 to work with. The City Council allocated $45,000 in its fiscal 2017-18 budget to match a similar contribution from Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services.
Councilors hope to finalize the plan by the end of this year with a public vote possible as early as the spring of 2019.
Councilors also decided that the advisory board meeting will be subject to open meetings law, with arrangements to be made to provide “abbreviated minutes” for all meetings.
“I think I speak for all of South Corvallis,” said Lytle, whose district includes South Corvallis, “when I say that we have waited 21 years. It’s time to move forward with this.”
No site was mentioned for the district, although Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services already has purchased a 7.7-acre site on Highway 99W that used to be the home of the Ford New Holland farm machinery business. Project backers also have discussed using the adjacent auction yard property as well.
Officials hope to develop the parcels into a neighborhood center with housing, a grocery store, a food business incubator facility, other small businesses and space for community gatherings. A town center using the auction yard has been part of planning goals for South Corvallis since 1997.