Amazon Corners Appeal Hearing


amazon-corner

The Eugene Hearings Official held a public hearing on March 1, 2017 to consider an appeal of the Planning Director’s decision approving a Traffic Impact Review for a new mixed-use development including apartments, ground-floor commercial space, and on-site parking.

There is now a 7 day open record period for any further input. Comments should be submitted to Erik Berg-Johansen at erik.berg@ci.eugene.or.us.

  • Initial Open Record Period – new written evidence, testimony, and argument
    • Period Ends Wednesday, March 8, 2017 @ 5PM
  • Response Period – opportunity to respond to evidence/testimony/argument submitted during the Initial Period
    • Period Ends Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 5PM
  • Applicant’s Final Argument – written final legal argument (Applicant only)
    • Period Ends Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 5 PM

After the record closes, the Hearings Official will have 15 days to issue a decision.


Article in the Register-Guard

South Eugene residents debate merits of Amazon Corner development: The proposed mixed-use project includes high-end apartments and retail space

A city hearings official heard dueling arguments Wednesday night over whether a proposed mixed-use development would bring traffic gridlock or vitality to south Eugene.

More than 20 residents spoke during a lengthy public hearing before hearings official Fred Wilson after a neighborhood association and an environmental group appealed city approval of a traffic study for the proposed Amazon Corner project.

The project would rise five stories behind the Albertsons grocery store at East 30th Avenue and Hilyard Street with 117 high-end apartments and 9,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The proposed development is permitted outright under the community commercial zoning of the property.

However, the city required the traffic study because the proposed development is expected to generate more than 100 “peak hour” vehicle trips.

A city official approved the traffic study Jan. 27 after concluding that surrounding streets can accommodate increased traffic from the project if the developer builds a signalized pedestrian crossing on Hilyard Street and creates dedicated turn lanes to help traffic on East 31st Avenue get onto Hilyard.

Kelly Sandow, a traffic engineer and author of the study, said the study met all applicable city rules and industry standards.

Representatives of Southeast Neighbors and Friends of Amazon Creek, the groups that filed the appeal, argued that the study lowballed the volume of traffic from the project and made unrealistic assumptions about how it would affect local streets.

At the hearing, 14 residents spoke against the city’s approval of the traffic study, many saying Amazon Corner renters and shoppers would park in and speed through their neighborhoods.

Mary Addams, who lives across from the proposed development, worried that drivers would cut through her street to get downtown rather than wait to get through the intersection at East 30th Avenue and Hilyard.

“We’re going to turn into a major thoroughfare instead of a quiet street,” she said.

Resident Jane Katra noted there are six schools in the area, but the study is silent on how increased traffic would affect students who bike or walk.

“How can you leave our kids out of this?” she asked. “How can you?”

Project manager Jonathan Lauch said the city is holding Amazon Corner to the same standard as other projects, but the appellants want it “held to a higher standard because the development is in south Eugene.”

He accused a small group of anti-growth fearmongers of spreading rhetoric on how the proposed development would degrade the livability of the neighborhood.

Lauch said the project should add only a small percentage of traffic to Hilyard, which already accommodates an average of 23,000 vehicle trips daily between 30th and 33rd avenues.

Seven residents voiced support for the project, saying it would build needed housing and allow residents to shop and dine without having to get in their cars.

“I think this type of development in progressive Eugene needs to move forward, and the sooner, the better,” said Randall Donohue, a longtime south Eugene resident.

But critics said the project is too big and doesn’t fit the character of the surrounding neighborhoods.

A decision by the hearings official is expected by no later than early next month.

Source: South Eugene residents debate merits of Amazon Corner development


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