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Large apartment complex in Newberg's future


Re-zoning process underway for 7.2 acres, public hearing scheduled for Jan. 21

After decades of being zoned by the county for apartments, 7.2 acres of land in eastern Newberg may soon be annexed into the city limits and be developed into a 120-apartment complex.

Springbrook Investments LLC submitted an application in November starting the process to rezone the land at 108 S. Springbrook Road from county designation to city high-density residential. Steve Olson, associate planner, said the application was unanimously approved at the Dec. 12 planning commission meeting, meaning it will be sent to the Newberg City Council with a recommendation for approval at its Jan. 21 meeting.

“With annexation, you always have to go to a public vote. If the council approves, it goes to a public ballot with the next possible vote in May 2014,” Olson said.by: GARY ALLEN - Construction in the future - If Springbrook Investments' application is approved by the City Council Jan. 21, it will go to a vote during the May primary. The proposal would build 120 apartments at 108 S. Springbrook Road.

He said if the decision by the council is pushed back, it would have to be approved by February to be put on the May primary ballot, otherwise the vote would be delayed until the November general election.

The land is currently owned by the estate of Jesse Walker, Olson said, adding “The developers probably made an offer (to purchase the land), but it’s probably contingent on zoning ap­proval. That’s pretty common at this phase of development. When it gets to the point of submitting plans it will probably have the developer’s name on it.”

The annexation would allow the 7.2 acres to be developed into apartments, something Olson said has been a part of the city’s comprehensive plan for a while.

“It has a high density res­idential des­ignation,” he said. “It’s been zoned this way for decades — it’s basically apartment zoning.”

After review by public agencies, the only conflicts were determined by the Oregon Department of State Lands concerning wetlands on the east side of the property. The department recommended an onsite inspection of the wetlands prior to development to determine the project’s impact.

Olson said if the process goes smoothly, developers may start construction by next fall, although he said it’s more likely they will still be in the planning stages at that point.

“But it’s possible,” he said.

The City Council hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Public Safety Building.