Growth spurt: Aumsville sees rapid construction, support for civic projects

May, 2018 Posted in Community

By Peggy Savage

A sense of small-town rural community may be one of the most desirable aspects of life in Aumsville that is drawing new residents to town. City Administrator Ron Harding said Aumsville has seen an influx of new families since new residential construction has been underway.

“We welcome new residents regularly to Aumsville,” Harding said. “The community is close to major Oregon cities, but at the same time offers a more rural setting that is desirable. I also believe that our community values of creating a great place to live and supporting families are something that attracts new residents.”

Homes in Aumsville are seeming to sell quickly in today’s economy, and the 85-lot Flowers Meadows subdivision is building up fast.

“The Flowers Meadows development is an extension of our newer home development on the east side of town, and as such is a very attractive area for new residents that do not want to purchase an older home,” Harding said. “The builders within this development usually pre-sell, and they have pulled permits for all of the lots, which would lead me to believe that they are selling quickly.”

Several smaller developments for new residential construction are also underway on the west side of the city, including four homes currently under construction on Del-Mar and a 12-home development on Clover Court. Also, there is a 172-unit apartment complex that’s been approved but is not yet under construction.

Harding said Aumsville has seen a lot of interest in residential development. “We have had more building permits ‘pulled’ since Jan. 1 of this year than in the previous five years,” he said.

At the same time, the city is limited to the remainder of residential property available inside the current Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). “The city’s inventory is low, and we are currently in a process that will lead to expanding our UGB and city limits,” he said.

For the time being, however, some available land has potential for future development. Harding said the city has some smaller properties that could be developed but are currently homesteads for long-time families. Also, there are some smaller parcels inside the city’s UGB that are not annexed into the city limits. But these parcels could be annexed and developed by the owners.

Although Aumsville has long been one of the smaller towns in the valley, it’s population is now showing steady growth. The numbers stood at 3,584 at the 2010 census, but was projected to be 4,108 in 2017, according to the US Census Bureau.

“I believe the 2030 forecast is around 5,800 people,” Harding said. “Although realistically we are most likely above 4,000 now.”

Part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area, Aumsville sees a large percentage of new homes being purchased by people who commute to work. Access to Highway 22 proves to be another draw for potential homebuyers.

Harding said Highway 22 access is easy from anywhere in the city.

“There are many options for our community,” he said. “I do not see the need, or even the desire, to create an additional access point from Aumsville, as there are four different accesses to the community, and each can get you to Highway 22,” he said.

In any community, impacts to local schools and traffic is an issue.

Harding said local developers pay an impact fee directly to the school district to help provide new facility construction.

“As you know, we all share Cascade High School, so increases in population are, most likely, steady across the district,” he said.

“Of course, internal city traffic is all relative, and again, because we are bordered by county roads and these roads are access points to Highway 22, Turner, Salem and Stayton’s growth in any of these communities, and or in the county, increases traffic volumes within the city,” he said.

“So far, the city isn’t experiencing any major congestion areas, although … we will need to keep an eye on traffic patterns and adjust accordingly.”

Having said that, Marion County also has input on development that impacts the county roads, or along a county road, he said.

“I see a lot of positive potential in Aumsville for not only development opportunities, but for development to have a positive impact on our community,” Harding said. “It’s important for current residents and the city council that our community continues to be a great place to live for current and new residents.”

To that end, he said Aumsville prioritizes summer and family events and parks and is working to upgrade critical systems within the city to provide a high quality of life and sustainable future for everyone to enjoy.  

In the past year, the city has received grants to upgrade one of its parks, to build a pocket park, to help purchase two new police vehicles, and to repair a failing road.

“We have also received some park land donations adding four acres to Porter Boone Park,” Harding said. “The city has implemented a new forecasting tool to provide sustainable budget planning for the future, and we are looking to revise our commercial development codes to assist a business that wants to locate here.”

The city has also prioritized public safety by providing 24/7 law enforcement coverage, he said, adding Aumsville was named the fourth safest city in Oregon this year.  

“These may not all seem directly related to development,” he said. “But in fact, supporting a high quality of life requires that the city work at all levels to provide amenities and services that are needed and wanted by those who call Aumsville their home. This is at the heart of our model – a great place to live.”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.