Oregon City Council at its last meeting approved requests for a Special Use Exception for a new assisted senior living/residential care facility, and a Conditional Use for the construction of a gas station.
Council held public hearings on the zoning requests before the 7-0 vote on Aug. 26.
Hussien Shousher, agent for Adams-Huron Investments, Ltd., applied for the Special Use Exception in an R-2 Medium Density Residential District for the purpose of constructing the senior living facility at 3450 Seaman Road.
The 64-unit combined single unit senior living/assisted living complex will be comprised of cottages aimed at independent living-seniors who do not require any assistance. Future expansion of the facility would be driven by supply and demand.
James Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning, said that the Plan Commission had recommended approval with the following conditions: “They wanted the public service director to approve the final infrastructure and the site plan; they wanted a 15-foot buffer along the perimeter of the property which is consistent with multi-family use; and they wanted the Architectural Review Committee to approve the standards for building, such as color and scale. With that, they approved the preliminary plan,” said Gilmore.
Elaine Grosjean, of South Coy Road, said she supported the facility.
“I’m going to be right next door to this property. I have no objection to it. I would rather see senior care there rather than any type of apartments,” she said.
Approval of the Conditional Use in a C-2 General Commercial District clears the way for the construction of a gas station/convenience store at 2448 and 2460 Navarre Avenue.
Jim Sayed had applied for the zoning request. The owner of the properties is SFS Property Group LLC.
The site is located on the southwest corner of Munding Drive and Navarre Avenue. The portion of the property located directly to the east is zoned C-2 while the portion to the south was zoned C-1.Sayed wanted to have the zoning on the rear portion of the parcel changed from C-1 to C-2 to coincide with the zoning on the front portion of the lot for the construction of the gas station /convenience store with an attached quick-serve restaurant.
Gilmore said the zoning change to C-2 is for parking.
He said the Planning Commission had approved the zoning change request with one condition: That the owners comply with installing a 20 foot landscaping buffer between the residential and commercial properties.
Mayor Mike Seferian said the owners of the parcel could operate the convenience store just on that portion that is zoned C-2 without getting the zoning changed on the portion that was zoned C-1.
“They could operate the convenience store, but only within the C-2 area. It’s just a matter of how big a property to operate under,” said Seferian.
There was some opposition to the commercial development.
Stephen Noethen, who lives on Grasser Street near the proposed development, said the C-1 zoning on the parcel was acting as a buffer to the residential area.
“What I should expect is for the commission and you to keep it a C-1 as a buffer to residential areas,” said Noethen.
He also had concerns about drainage from the property polluting a creek behind his house.
“I live down the street from it. Right now, when it rains, all the rain water from the whole C-2 area runs down into a creek behind my house and it floods up. Once they put a gas station in there, and they spill gas, that’s going to .run down into that creek also,” he said.
He was also concerned about adding more traffic on Navarre, and lights from the 24 hour gas station shining into residential areas.
“The applicants could put the building and operations all on the C-2 property and operate without this change,” said Seferian. “By adding the C-2, and giving them a little more latitude, it makes it a little safer. We’re only talking about the C-1 area, which gives them room for a parking lot for people to go into the convenience store, which is a sort of buffer. We’re trying to make it a facility that’s user friendly when people come in. Without that, it would be a little tighter and harder to move around on that parcel. There was never any intent to negatively impact the neighborhood.”
Councilman Sandy Bihn voted against the zoning change.
“Once you change to C-2, if this project doesn’t go forward, anything can go in there. We learned this on Woodville Road. There was an office building proposed, then an Arthur Treacher’s went in. The neighbors really objected. There were drive-thrus in the back and it was noisy. It was very bad for the neighborhood,” she said.
She also said that a gas station would not be an attractive business in the area.
“Aesthetically, I very much, as most of you are aware, want Navarre Avenue to look better, and attract a better retail than we currently have, especially for clothing, or something like Kohl’s. It’s no secret to anyone here that I think that would be great. Putting a gas station here is pretty typical of a main route. But it doesn’t make the community more attractive,” she said. “I think having a gas station here is not in the best interests of the community.”