Portland Planning Commission Gives Initial Approval for Sunflower Development | Portland

The Portland Planning Commission reluctantly approved a concept plan for the controversial Sunflower Subdivision project at the November 9 council meeting.

At its May and June 2021 meetings, planners rejected a preliminary plan that called for 56 homes in the 25.24-acre development on West Longview Drive and would have required the property to be rezoned.

The new plan has 37 homes and generally meets the city’s current zoning requirements. A lawyer for developer Goodall Homes said the 37 buildings were intended to be apartment-style residential buildings with eight bedrooms each and were not intended to be short-term rentals. A third party company will manage the property and also handle all maintenance and security issues.

Bob Goodall has previously said his intention is to build a community to house people with disabilities.

Ahead of the discussion on the matter, City Attorney John Bradley reminded members of the commission that they generally do not have the power to deny a construction request that meets city requirements.

“When someone has the zoning they need for the property, if they submit a plan to the city that meets all of the city’s requirements, you have very little leeway to deny it,” Bradley said.

Bradley acknowledged that the plan is controversial and said: “It has already been submitted to the Planning Commission as a different plan. Previously, he had requested a zoning change, but that is no longer the case. This changes the role of the planning commission.

Bradley said state law generally gives homeowners the right to build on their land, as long as zoning requirements are met, and a “significant problem” should exist to deny such a request.

“Not all building plans will be popular, but if you have the right to build, your role as the planning commission is to make sure it’s built to the highest standards,” he said. declared.

The “yes” vote was unanimous, but several council members noted that their votes did not reflect their personal views on the project, but that it appeared to meet the city’s demands.

“I hope you understand that this commission is obligated to respect the zoning of the City of Portland,” said Alderman Megann Thompson. “They did everything according to the rules… If this passes, it’s not that we don’t understand your concerns. But this council must abide by city laws and the city cannot discriminate against people with disabilities, despite our concerns. “

“The I’s are dotted, the T’s are crossed out; we are obliged to obey the laws, ”added Jim Donoho.

Residents nearby have expressed the same concerns they had for previous incarnations of the project, such as traffic, high-density housing and crime.

“The problem we encountered with this project is the high density,” said Tom Hunter, who said he lives across the street from the property. “Is there a limit to the size of our lots in the city of Portland?” “

Vickie Hunter asked about the project’s proximity to JW Wiseman Elementary School, but Bradley pointed out that the Portland hospital is actually closer than the school.

“It’s a concern: mental illness and what kind of residents are going to live there? ” she said.

Lola Johnson said: “Councilor (Jody) McDowell mentioned in the last council vote that other places (like this one) have a lot of trouble with calling the police… The police are constantly being called with these residents. that cause problems… I don’t ‘I don’t want to live so close to violent people.

“How many of you want something set up in your backyard where the police are called a few times a week?” Added Danny Johnson. “They are going to make their money and they will be gone.”

Utilities Director Bryan Price said he had no concerns about the drainage issues and the developer knew the area was under a sewer moratorium.

“The way to solve problems is to enable development,” Price said. “The First Fleet used to flood all the time; then they built a new facility at the top of Industrial Drive and set up a large retention basin… Mainly now, there are no more problems.

The Planning Commission also gave its preliminary approval for the subdivision of 82 Wellington Place lots on TGT Road and the development of four Scattersville Acres lots on Scattersville Road.

Concept approval was also given to a 39 lot, 5.72 acre Richland Estates subdivision on North Russell Street, with a special exemption for the width of the grass strip where the property narrows.

Approval of the site plan was postponed by a 4: 3 vote for the PortNorth distribution center on 25.55 acres on Vaughn Parkway after staff noted that some concerns remained about the project.

Contact Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or [email protected]

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