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The Albany Planning Commission voted unanimously on Monday to deny a zone change on a 12.7-acre parcel in North Albany on Monday night.

The proposal would have switched the zone on the property from residential medium density to mixed-use commercial.

Bob Richardson, city of Albany planning manager, said that planning commissioners worried about the compatibility of what could be put in a mixed-use zone next to a neighborhood of single family homes.

“Between that and the traffic issues, none of us were comfortable with it,” said Larry Tomlin, Planning Commission chairman.

Under the current zoning, the property owner still could build more than 300 apartments.

The land, owned by Jim Winkler, president of Winkler Development Corporation, is located north of Hickory Street. The North Albany Village shopping center sits to the west, and at the eastern edge are houses along Troon Street.

Winkler said during a March Planning Commission public hearing that the mixed-use designation would provide for greater flexibility and that he was considering senior residences with stores and shops catering to retired people on the ground floor.

At that same public hearing, about 15 residents spoke in opposition to the zone change, saying that it would result in more traffic and drainage issues, and that affordable housing would result in more crime and drive property values down.

In extended written comment period, the city received about 20 to 30 additional letters, some signed by multiple North Albany residents, Richardson said.

“The amount and fervor of the public’s comments, they were definitely against it, they weren’t the determining factor,” Tomlin said.

Monday’s commission decision could be appealed to the Albany City Council.

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Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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