Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Oregon council denies Wynn Park subdivision rezone

Oregon City Council went against the recommendation of the city's planning commission and voted Monday night to deny a zoning change for a proposed housing subdivision that attracted opposition from nearby residents.

The Oregon Planning Commission approved recommending the zoning change from an A-1 agricultural to an R-2 medium density residential for the proposed Wynn Park subdivision. The proposed 67-lot, single-family subdivision would sit on about 37 acres near the southeast corner of Wynn and Brown roads.

But the request for a zoning change failed by a 4-3 vote, with councilmen Jeff Keller, Jerry Peach, Jim Seaman, and Michael Seferian voting no.

"The request for zoning change has been denied," said Council President Mike Sheehy to applause from the about 75 residents who attended the public hearing that lasted about two hours.

George Oravecz, a consulting engineer who designed the subdivision, was the only one who spoke in favor of the proposal at the public hearing.

But about a dozen residents spoke out against the zoning change, though most said they were not opposed to the subdivision itself. At issue was the proposed accommodation tap that would have been connected with a pump station into the sanitary sewer that was being constructed on Pickle and Wynn roads north of the proposed subdivision for those who would live in the subdivision.

Ray Schmidt, 1211 South Wynn Rd., presented council 34 letters that he circulated among neighbors opposing the accommodation tap. Members of council had individually received other opposition letters.

"It's obvious about the letters received back that this crowd is extremely distressed over this," he said. "We strictly oppose this."

Mr. Seaman said the accommodation tap would have been temporary until a sanitary sewer line came down Brown Road from Lallendorf Road, but added "that line is not imminent, and we've never given an accommodation tap for that many homes."

Other residents were also upset with the word "temporary."

"He says 'temporary.' Does that mean 20 years?" Mr. Schmidt said. "If you give this accommodation tap, where do you stop it? Do we keep allowing this on a temporary basis?"

Toward the end of the public hearing, Mr. Oravecz suggested that council continue the public hearing for three months to give him time to talk to residents to hopefully submit a petition for sanitary sewers down Brown.

But council voted to deny that request before denying the zoning request because Mr. Seferian said Mr. Oravecz would be able to waive the one-year filing fee to ask council again for a zoning change if he is able to submit a petition supported by residents asking for sanitary sewers on Brown.

"If a new trunkline on Brown Road was petitioned for and approved, I would have no problem with the subdivision," Mr. Seaman said.

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