Moving forward: Hazard removal at former school site on council agenda

August 2018 Posted in Community
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A look at the land north of West Church Street in Mount Angel that developers hope to subdivide into 63 residential lots. James Day

By James Day

Long anticipated work to turn the former Eugene Field School site on North Water Street into a new Silverton civic center may begin soon.

The city is accepting bids on the first phase of the plan: asbestos and underground storage tank removal on the school site. City Manager Christy Wurster told Our Town that nine companies participated in walkthroughs at the site, with final bids due to be received
on July 26.

The City Council is scheduled to review the bids at its Aug. 6 meeting.  The winning contractor will face a 45-day deadline to complete the work. A demolition contract will come later, Wurster said.

In addition, the city will spend $30,000 this fall on a community outreach process for the project, which is scheduled to include a police station, City Hall and new council chambers.

The city received a state grant for $20,000, with the city required to match with $10,000. The city will hire a consultant who will “provide the recommended project elements, concept plan and general site development program,” Wurster said. Surveys will be done and a community workshop is planned for September or October.

No timetable has been set for the project, although the council goal calls for a police station within five years and a City Hall within 10.

Code hearing continues

Aug. 6 will also be the second public hearing before the City Council on the proposed code changes which would pave the way for a small-unit transitional housing shelter on church property. Although a formal proposal for the shelter has not been submitted and is not on the agenda, the code changes being presented for council action outline the requirements for the conditional use permit which would be required. At the July 2 meeting testimony was ended after an hour due to the length of the agenda.  Proponents said the code changes would allow Silverton to address a local problem. Opponents cited concerns over safety and property values.

Wachter Meadows

A plan by the Stafford Land Company of Lake Oswego to build a subdivision on the west side of Mount Angel went before the city’s Planning Commission at a July 19 public hearing, but a request by Stafford for a continuance postponed any deliberations until the commission’s Aug. 30 meeting.

Stafford hopes to subdivide 20 acres of the Wachter Meadows land between West Church Street and West Marquam Street into 63 lots. An earlier application to the Planning Commission was deemed incomplete by city staff because of the lack of traffic and geotechnical information.

If Wachter Meadows is ultimately approved it would be one of the largest developments in town in recent years, according to Amber Mathiesen, city manager.

The Maryhill Park project, approved in 2005, includes a total of 99 units, with the final phase still in progress. The Grandview 55-and-over community, which features 56 units, was approved in 2015 and remains under construction.

Silverton City Council Monday, Aug. 6, 7 p.m. Silverton Community Center 421 S. Water St.

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