Fighting for livability

I’ve said it before: the Retreat at Oak Creek is not the solution for Corvallis’s housing problems.

On Sunday, the Gazette Times ran another article in their “Town & Gown” series. While the headline is meant to startle the reader, the content of the article is important and supports some of RDC’s key arguments.

  • Existing student apartment complexes are the biggest sources of nuisance issues, quality-of-life violations, and incident reports in the neighborhoods close to campus. Look at the map included with the article – the two clusters of incidents are at or near Seventh Street Station and the Tyler Avenue Townhomes.
  • The Corvallis Police Department is woefully under-staffed and cannot keep up with current problems in concentrated off-campus student housing areas.
  • Neighbors and police agree that the problem is “the apartment complexes, townhouses, and duplexes” … what neighbors refer to as “dorms without supervision.”

Nowhere in the article does anyone suggest that the solution to these problems is to build yet another – much, much bigger – apartment complex.

Nowhere in the article does anyone suggest that these neighborhoods will cease being “besieged” if Landmark Properties builds its Retreat and Oak Creek.

Why not? Because it simply isn’t true.

Collaboration Corvallis to the rescue!

Not surprisingly, Collaboration Corvallis is all over these issues. One solution discussed at a couple of the meetings I attended is the development of clear guidelines (and possibly licensing) for landlords, with responsibilities, accountability and consequences. This is especially important with the increase in the number of absentee landlords we have.

It is very important to point out that although the article’s author states about mid-way through that Collaboration Corvallis “is on a three-year timeline,” better and more accurate information can be found in the final few paragraphs.

From an off-campus living guide distributed this fall, to a new 2013 requirement that true freshmen live on campus, to new parking regulations signaling the first attempts to fix a broken Land Development Code … Collaboration Corvallis will continue to submit recommendations for change as they are developed, with more coming in November.

“ ‘This is really a good thing,’ said [Corvallis Police Chief] Sassaman of the collaboration effort. ‘This is the first time in the 25 years that I have been here that I have seen this large (an effort).’ ” (GT 10/28/12)

I’ve said this before as well: let’s allow Collaboration Corvallis to do its work. And support our local police department. Vote NO on the Sather Annexation.

– MS

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