Introducing: Housing construction, future opportunities point to growth

May, 2018 Posted in Community
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The spike in construction isn’t just limited to Stayton. On Development reports on other local projects next month. Tim Beagle

By Peggy Savage

It looks like Stayton could be growing by leaps and bounds in the near future.

City Planning Director Dan Fleishman said Stayton may see nearly 100 homes built at two Shaff Road developments near the middle school within the year. About 48 homes, including two duplexes, are going up in Wildlife Meadows, a development built by Roger Roberts. And west of the school, Hayden Homes has approval for 51 family lots on 13 acres.

“This spike in development all started happening last year,” said Mayor Hank Porter. “Roberts’ development is going full blast. They’re building that one now, with nice, big homes on nice, big lots. And they are selling like hotcakes.”

Fleishman said Wildlife Meadows is the only new development currently underway.

“The Hayden development was approved by the planning commission, but it is still dealing with engineering issues,” he said. “We expect construction on the street, sewer and water at that development this summer, and we will probably see houses underway in the fall.”

In addition, Fleishman said the planning commission just approved a project for four new homes at West Ida and Evergreen, across from the new bed-and- breakfast under construction.

“That’s really all that’s in the pipeline right now,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of discussion with developers on different projects, but nobody has submitted a development application yet. It may be a while, or they could walk in this afternoon.”

Coming Up

In the near future, Fleishman sees potential for a surge of new construction in residential development and, possibly, some commercial development.

“I see a couple large properties with potential on the east side of town, one 65 acres and the other a 72-acre parcel,” he said. “Interest has been expressed by developers. There’s room for 300 to 400 homes on each parcel, so together, we’re talking about 600 to 800 new homes there.

About 6.48 acres of residentially zoned land is also a potential at the old mill site downtown.

“I hear she wants $1.2 million for the land,” Porter said of the owner. “There’s room for about 14 to 20 home lots there.”

Fleishman said that development was approved by the planning commission seven years ago. “But three weeks ago, we sent a letter saying you took so long, the approval has expired. It’s property that has potential, but nobody has been in to even talk about it,” he said.

“Interest has been shown in a commercial development on Shaff Road, but what will come of that, who knows?” he said. “This project is for a fast food restaurant near McDonalds. We had our pre-application meeting last fall, and their architect recently called me with questions, so I assume that project is still alive.”

There’s potential for more commercial development on property at the southwest corner of Wilco and Shaff roads. Fleishman said that land is in Stayton’s Urban Growth Boundary, and inside the city limits.

“It is zoned commercial, and it is certainly a property to be developed,” he said. “The owner has had it on the market, however, for at least 12 years. He has given up and hired somebody to auction it off.”

Impacts

Asked how the projected surge in housing development would impact the schools, Fleishman said at this point, it’s not
a problem.

“I have a partnership with the school district in their long-range planning process, and they are aware of the projects in Stayton and Sublimity,” he said. “Based on projected growth and known development projects, the Stayton School District determined they won’t need additional classroom capacity.”

Traffic projections are also optimistic.

“Yes, the new developments do impact streets, but those impacts on any system are mitigated by the improvements we make as developments are installed,” he said. “We’ve got a process in place. We look at the impact of development and have plans in place for sewer, water and street improvements. And the city is prepared for that development to occur. If needed, the developer is required to make those improvements.”

Development statistics for Stayton

Fleishman recently completed a study on current housing and presented it to the city council on April 2. In the report, he said “the town is currently growing at a high pace.”

Here are some highlights from the study:

Stayton has seen only a 15 percent increase in population during the past 30 years. Today the population stands at about 7,800 people.

Portland State University’s Population Forecast Program estimates that by 2030, the population will grow to 9,065, an increase of 15 percent.

Stayton’s close proximity to Salem means that a large percentage of people commute to work. As a result, Stayton’s new housing is developed in a way that eases access to Highway 22.

Stayton’s housing stock is relatively new and in relatively good condition: only 11 percent was built prior to 1950.

Most housing units – 82 percent – are single family dwellings. No multifamily housing has been built since 2002.

The cost of housing in Stayton has been rising steadily since the 2008 financial crisis. The median sales price of a single family home in 2017-2018 is $225,000. But according to the real estate website Zillow.com, the average home value in Stayton is around $261,700. This is higher than Aumsville, Mill City, Scio and Salem, but comes in below Sublimity and Silverton.

The most significant period of housing growth was in the 1990s, but since then, not many new homes or apartments have been built. Since 2010, the city has added only 86 new homes.

Although Stayton’s newer homes tend to be built on open properties closer to the outskirts of town, many vacant buildable lots closer to the center of town could be filled with new homes.

Fleishman said Stayton’s housing situation is typical of a rural community. There’s been a high demand for single-family detached homes, but only a limited number of new multi-family homes have been built in the past 20 years. Future demand, however, may require different types of housing.

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