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Cottage Grove approves rezoning.

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

COTTAGE GROVE - With some members expressing frustration over a lack of choice in the matter, the City Council voted 6-1 Monday night in favor of adopting an ordinance to rezone 74 acres on the slopes of Mount David.

The city planning staff had earlier recommended that the council adopt the ordinance, stating that the proposal by land developer Todd Alberts to rezone the land from forest to single-family residential complies with Cottage Grove's comprehensive land use plan.

"At this point we don't have a whole lot of choices before us," Councilor Robert Hunt said.

Each councilor commented briefly on the ordinance, but the majority of the discussion came during a Sept. 26 meeting when Mayor Gary Williams said the city would have to pay for litigation if it didn't rezone the parcel. About two dozen people opposing the development attended that meeting.

Alberts is seeking the rezoning as part of a plan to build a 250-unit subdivision on 90 acres, including the hill northeast of downtown and the 15-acre site of the old Cottage Grove Hospital. Alberts has filed a petition in Lane County Circuit Court seeking to have the development approved - without the usual City Council hearing - because Cottage Grove officials failed to take action on his application within the 120-day time limit established by Oregon land use law.

City officials blamed the delay on a miscalculation of the deadline and a longer-than-usual process because of heavy citizen interest.

Seventy-four acres had been designated for forest use by Lane County before the city annexed the parcel earlier this year.

The one vote opposing the ordinance came from Councilor Todd Winter, who said when he researched the land use code and comprehensive plan he found a great deal of difficulty and confusion.

He asked the rest of the council to approve the ordinance, but to allow him to respectfully decline, saying he worried such ordinances would pave the way for future annexations and changes in the city's urban growth boundary.

Councilor Lynn Miller echoed Winter's concerns, but said, "We need to pass this in order to move along in the process."

Several public hearings have yet to be held as Alberts moves forward in the development process.

In other business, the council unanimously adopted a resolution to support recommendations from the Lane County Public Safety Task Force involving a sales tax to help fund public safety.

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DATE TK from Mayor Gary Williams 520-4551 cell
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Title Annotation:Government; The City Council votes 6-1 to allow a proposal to build a housing development on 74 acres of forest land
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 11, 2005
Words:411
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