Annexations: Silverton, Mount Angel take different paths to deal with land acquisitions

May 2018 Posted in Community

This site on North Second Street in Silverton is proposed for a 13-unit apartment complex. James Day

By James Day

The rules on annexations – the process that brings land into the city limits – has changed in Oregon.

Governor Kate Brown in March 2016 signed Senate Bill 1573, which puts
limits on voter-approved annexation.
The legislation was part of a series of housing-related bills that the Legislature has passed in the past two years to simplify land-use decision-making and increase the supply of housing.

Corvallis, Philomath and the League of Oregon Cities challenged SB1573 in court, but both Benton County communities have pulled back from sending annexations to the voters while the matter is in under appeal.

Mount Angel and Silverton have taken different approaches to the issue. Mount Angel’s charter, said City Manager Amber Mathiesen, calls for voter-approved annexations “if state law does not govern” them.

Because state law now does just that, with the signing of SB 1573, Mount Angel is following suit by not requiring votes. The city has not annexed any land since SB 1573 became law. The last annexation was in February 2016, but the parcel has not yet been developed.

Things were a bit more complicated in Silverton, which passed an ordinance favoring annexation votes in 2005. Five annexations totaling approximately 115 acres came to the voters between 2006 and 2009. All five land additions failing by wide margins.

In September 2016, the Silverton Council passed a resolution halting annexations of sites larger than two acres pending the outcome of legal challenges to SB 1573, according to Community Development Director Jason Gottgetreu. That resolution has been extended twice.

Between the March 2016 signing of SB 1573 and the passage of the resolution, three properties were annexed: 4.8 acres on Ike Mooney Road, 9.5 acres on
North James Street and 24.5 acres on Railway Avenue.

Gottgetreu said the owners of the Ike Mooney property are interested in removing it from the city limits. The Railway Avenue land is being considered for a housing development, and the addition of the North James property has resulted in a lengthy public process and the denial of an application that would have divided the acreage into
56 lots.

Gottgetreu said that a new subdivision application, which would reduce the number of lots to 41, is pending.

Silverton project: Better Oregon Homes of Scotts Mills wants to build a 13-unit apartment complex on North Second Street behind Roth’s market.

The 0.63-acre site, the former home of the Silverton Praise Center, is zoned multiple family residential (RM10). Better Homes is planning a two-story apartment structure, with seven apartments on the ground floor and six studios upstairs. Four of the apartments are scheduled to be two-bedroom units. A total of 17 parking spaces would surround the building.

The public comment period for the project has closed, with a director-level administrative review determining the project’s fate rather than a public hearing before the Planning Commission or City Council.

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