Oregon City Council last month approved zoning changes on two parcels off Navarre Avenue for a $10 million senior housing project.
The site is just west of Little Sisters of the Poor.
The Plan Commission recommended approval of the zoning change requests in July.
Council on August 25 voted 6-1 for a zoning change from R-1 Low Density Residential Zoning District to R-3 Multiple Family at 4744 Navarre Avenue, with Councilman Bill Myers opposed.
Council voted unanimously to change zoning from R-1 Low Density Residential District to C-5 Navarre Avenue Business District on a nearby parcel at 4700 Navarre Avenue that is needed for the development.
The Kimmelman Corporation, developer of the two-phased project, will construct 200, one-story stick-built apartments with attached garages that are handicap accessible, with concrete driveways and sidewalks. The gated community will include a detention pond, maintained by the complex, that will drain into the Navarre Avenue sewer system.
“We feel that we have planned a very nice development for this particular part of the city,” George Oravecz, consulting engineer for the project, said to council. “We are meeting the need of the community because there is a need for this type of alternate senior residency in Oregon, similar to what we’re doing in Perrysburg, in Waterville, and on Sylvania Avenue. All of the projects will be the same type of unit that they are proposing in Oregon. It contains a tremendous amount of amenities. It provides the safety and security that seniors are looking for in a complex of this nature.”
The site is bounded by Navarre Avenue to the north, Lallendorf Road to the west, Pickle Road to the south, and Wynn Road to the east.
The development will make the city more attractive to commercial development, said Oravecz.
“The only thing that brings business into a community is primarily residents and rooftops. If you don’t have that, you have difficulty in attracting them. Part of our problems, after we got Wal-Mart, and attempted to get Target, Home Depot and Kohl’s to come into Oregon across from Wal-Mart, and at the intersection of Lallendorf and Navarre, is the number of rooftops in the geometric circle that they created. And when we were ready to get them, the economy destroyed us. Hopefully, once the economy comes back, we’ll be able to bring those businesses back into the community. They have provided smaller prototypes for communities with not as large a population, to be able to fit into communities like ours in Oregon, where heretofore, the only thing they would build was the mega mega box. Now they realize in their marketing program they can provide the same thing in a little bit smaller unit,” said Oravecz.
Councilman James Seaman asked Oravecz about the possibility of using abandoned buildings, like the former Foodtown on Navarre Avenue, for future development.
“Are any efforts being employed there? It’s good to develop the inner part of the city where there’s an existing building, upgrade it, and see what can happen,” said Seaman.
“Once you create new product and new development coming into the community, what happens is redevelopment occurs,” said Oravecz. “It effect, it creates the synergy that makes people feel like the value of their property is being maintained or increasing in value. Therefore, they’re willing to invest money to rehab existing facilities, rehab existing homes.”
Councilman Myers said he was opposed to changing zoning from R-1 Low Density Residential to R-3 Multiple Family District at 4744 Navarre, saying it would encroach on future commercial development recommended by the master plan on the first 1,300 feet back from Navarre Avenue.
“We’re saying it’s okay to put residential encroachment into commercial, which I disagree with,” he said.