The decision on the proposed Bonaventure senior living facility in northwest Corvallis will have to wait a few weeks.
The Corvallis City Council held a two-hour, 50-minute public hearing Monday night at the downtown fire station but chose not to deliberate on an appeal of a 4-2 decision in favor of the project on Feb. 6 by the city’s Planning Commission.
Councilors heard from city staff, the applicant and members of the public, with deliberations scheduled for the April 1 council meeting.
Bonaventure, a Salem-based company that operates 26 similar facilities, is hoping to build a four-story project on 5.43 acres of land near the intersection of Northwest Kings Boulevard and Century Drive. The project would consist of 150 units divided into three levels of care: independent living (62 units), assisted living (61 units) and memory care (27 units).
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the application at its Jan. 16 meeting, but requests to hold the record open led to the postponement of deliberations until Feb. 6. Key issues commissioners dealt with — and which were also discussed Monday — were whether the developer offered the right compensating benefits for the variances being sought from city code.
The developers asked for variations from code on maximum setbacks, hillside development cut and fill standards, block perimeter standards, pedestrian-oriented design standards and the width requirement for a multiuse path that is proposed for the site. The applicant also requested authority for four-story buildings with a maximum height of 38 feet. City code limits construction to three stories and the overall height to 35 feet. The developer said that the buildings would be built in a recessed “dug in” way and that planting more trees and larger shrubs than required also would mitigate the impact of the larger buildings.
Residents testifying in favor of the project said that it would fill a need for senior housing in Corvallis. Residents opposed focused largely on the compensating benefits issue while also expressing concerns about wetlands, lighting and the possible need for a public transit stop at the facility.
“I want to be the first one into Bonaventure,” said Beverly Dean, 88. “I would keep my car, it’s near my Starbucks and it’s close to medical services. It meets the needs of people my age. Everyone in this room is going to face this. We need to look ahead.”
Resident Mary Frances Campana and others countered with concerns about compensating benefits.
“We’re just not comfortable with it,” she said. “There is a huge amount of cut and fill here and it’s not an appropriate balance. There must be more benefits for the public for this massive construction.”
At the beginning of the meeting Mayor Biff Traber spoke for a couple of minutes about last week’s terrorist attacks in New Zealand that killed 50 people at a pair of mosques.
“These are horrible events and a horrible topic to be discussing,” said Traber, who added that he “wanted to comment on what the city of Corvallis is and what our values are, and our support of Muslim community members.”