When those already living just to the east learned (a while back) that there would be over five hundred units of single family, multi-family, duplexes and senior housing being built, a large group of neighbors let City Hall know that they think it’s too many units in too small of a space. And they all said again Tuesday night that they’re against it.
Neighbors complained that their potential new neighbors, moving in to The Village at Dry Canyon, would be tempted to head south toward Redmond proper through what are today quiet residential streets. But city planners contend that access, via Spruce Street, to Northwest Way slightly to the west, which becomes Maple heading east, would be the preferred travel route into town – not through slow speed neighborhoods to the east and south. What’s more, staff said, additional housing is expected to be built west of The Village at Dry Canyon, prompting the extension of Quince and Oak streets to the west offering even easier access to Northwest Way – which again bends around to the east and becomes Maple that connects to NW 19th. Staff agreed that some residents will head directly east to NW 19th, and follow it down to Maple, but the speed limit is much lower than taking Northwest Way, then down to Maple.
Neighbors also complained about the high density of the development – claiming that simply too many people are going to be living in too small of an area. They said in addition to a lot of single family homes there will be 200 apartments, a number of duplexes as well as granny houses to be situated on some of the single family lots. And that, say the neighbors, will disrupt their quiet, single family home neighborhood with more traffic rumbling up and down their streets.
At that point, Mayor George Endicott chimed in saying that higher housing densities is the new normal, adding “State land use law commands average housing densities in cities to be at least 17.5 housing units per acre. The city’s hands are tied,” he lamented, “due to state law.” In addition to what Mayor Endicott said, there is a huge push state-wide to build lower cost housing to help stem the rapid rise of rents that are breaking the financial backs of hundreds of thousands of Oregon middle, lower middle and low income families. By building more lower priced housing, average rents will hopefully level off, if not fall, giving much needed relief to lower income residents city-wide.
Mayor Endicott announced that public input in the form of written comments will be accepted at the city planning department at City Hall for another two weeks. Mayor Endicott said the council will take the matter up again at their next city council meeting on October 24th.