Planners give green light to development

 

Last updated 12/7/2021 at Noon



With a unanimous vote of 6-0 in favor of approval with staff conditions, the Sisters Planning Commission gave a green light to the Sisters Woodlands Master Plan development, tentative subdivision, cottage development, and major variance request, at their continued public hearing on

December 2.

Public oral and written testimony had been closed at the conclusion of the previous hearing on November 10. The continuance was issued to provide additional time for the planning commissioners to study the issues and conduct their deliberations with enough time for a thorough conversation.

Each commissioner was allowed time to voice their concerns, their positive and negative comments, and indicate their probable position on the applications submitted for the Sisters Woodlands.

The main concern voiced by all the commissioners centered around the increased traffic created by the 359 residential units and 44,000 square feet of commercial/light industrial space, and its impact on traffic flow and safety in and around the Barclay/Highway 20 roundabout and ingress/egress for the development. (See related story on page 9).

Plans currently call for a pedestrian refuge island in a crosswalk across Highway 20 between the Woodlands and the highway commercial district across Highway 20. The commissioners would prefer an overpass, underpass, or bypass, but appreciate the cost and time involved. Highway 20 is a state freight route under the management of Oregon Department of Transportation, which must be involved in any planning and permission granted for changes.

Other questions raised by commissioners included concerns about units being purchased as second homes or short-term rentals rather than workforce housing. Community Development Director Scott Woodford said the developer could place restrictions as part of the CC & Rs for the development, but the City isn’t able to establish codes placing such limits. There is already an ordinance which requires a 250-foot buffer around any short-term rental.

There will be additional opportunities to review and fine-tune the site plans and designs for each of the

five phases of the development. The entire project could take six years to be fully built out.

 

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