The Corvallis City Council voted 8-1 Monday night at the downtown fire station to back the formal findings in the case of a proposed Bonaventure senior living facility above the intersection of Northwest Kings Boulevard and Century Drive.
The action means the council has denied an appeal by neighbors of the Planning Commission’s approval of the project on a 4-2 vote at its Feb. 6 meeting. The neighbors have the right to appeal the council decision to the state Land Use Board of Appeals but must do so in 21 days or by May 6. Absent a LUBA appeal the project moves forward.
Ward 4 Councilor Barbara Bull cast the lone “no” vote, expressing concerns that “we didn’t use the (land development) code the way it was intended.” Bull objected to the way the city’s pedestrian oriented design standards were applied to the proposed main entrance to the building.
Bonaventure, a Salem-based company that operates 26 similar facilities, is hoping to build a four-story project of approximately 160,000 square feet on a 5.43-acre parcel. 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 proposal required five meetings to get to this point.
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. At that meeting commissioners voted 4-2 to approve the project, with those voting for it and against it expressing concerns about variances sought by Bonaventure and the company's suggestion of compensating benefits.
Neighbors appealed the Planning Commission decision to the City Council, which held a two-hour, 50-minute public hearing at its March 18 meeting but chose not to deliberate until April 1. At the April 1 session the council vote was 9-0 to deny the appeal, but that approval did not become official until Monday night’s formal findings were addressed.
In other highlights:
• Councilors discussed a proposed code of conduct developed by a subgroup of Andrew Struthers (Ward 9), Hyatt Lytle (Ward 3) and Charlyn Ellis (Ward 5). Councilors worked their way through a series of amendments before ultimately deciding to table the program. Struthers, Lytle and Ellis will rework the plan and bring it back to the council at a future meeting.
Along the way Rolling Stones lyrics were invoked, several councilors sought to rid the text of exclamation marks, minor edits were suggested and Struthers invoked a point of order after being distracted by the amplified pen clicking of Mayor Biff Traber.
• The Corvallis Police Department’s six-officer community livability group was on hand to receive council and staff congratulations for the recent Benton County Health Department public health award it received April 2. The officers were honored for their work to prevent alcohol-related problems among Oregon State University students. Also noted was Lee Lazaro, the county’s recently retired transportation coordinator, who received an award for his work with county departments and the city of Corvallis to provide transportation for vulnerable populations.
• The council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the reimbursement by the state for $205,500 in expenses the Corvallis Fire Department incurred assisting other agencies with major fires during 2018.
• The council unanimously passed a resolution supporting Senate Bill 577, which would require the state Department of Justice to study bias crime and report back by September 2020.