You are here:

A different way to develop? Community aids in planning for future large housing project along Stafford Road in Lake Oswego

Ken Allen, who has taken a uniquely collaborative approach to developing a housing project at the Bethlehem Christian Preschool and former church on Stafford Road in Lake Oswego, has zeroed in on a design.

After a number of community meetings, Allen has proposed a site with 15 cottage clusters, 19 townhouses and 35-to-45 affordable condos along with open space, common areas, a relocated preschool and a community cafe.

Allen, a developer and Palisades resident, hoped to garner neighborhood support and participation, so he sought assistance from neighbors in coming up with a final plan. He wanted to avoid the typical cycle of a developer proposing what they want to do and often blindsiding residents who oppose the proposal.

“I feel like I was called to a higher standard of stewardship on the site because it’s my backyard and my neighborhood,” he said.

During four meetings, about 15-to-30 people made their voices heard. Though Allen said they did not achieve total consensus — there were some who worried about increased traffic and did not want the site developed — he believes they’ve come up with a positive result and would do the process again in hindsight.

The group decided they wanted a mix of housing options for seniors and young people, with varying sizes and price points throughout the site.

“Cottages will be designed with Seniors in mind and townhomes for young families wanting an option to large overpriced homes in LO,” Allen wrote via email.

To make the condos affordable for people who make less than 100% of the area median income, Allen plans to work with an affordable housing partner, mentioning Habitat for Humanity and Hacienda as possibilities. In terms of transportation, he said he heard that TriMet is considering adding bus services to serve the future recreation and aquatic center near the site. He also plans to alter the site’s entrance to reduce impacts.

Allen heard plenty of feedback about wanting the site to be ecologically friendly and plans to achieve certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building program.

A final neighborhood meeting on the proposal is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15 at the old church at 17979 SW Stafford Road. Allen expects to begin the application process with the city of Lake Oswego a few weeks thereafter.

Original article here.