The Sather Annexation: Out of Scale

How well would Landmark Properties’ proposal fit with the local neighborhood and the city as a whole?

Very poorly!

If approved, the proposed Sather Annexation would create a massive students-only complex wildly out of scale with the nearby neighborhood, the City of Corvallis as a whole, and, in fact, any reasonable standard for urban development in cities of this size.

Consider population density alone. The development plan drawing submitted by Landmark shows housing for 893 students on 24.4 buildable acres – a population density of about 23,400 individuals per square mile (“IPSM”). That’s about six times the average density of Corvallis, and four times the density of the nearby neighborhoods. In fact, it’s 30% denser than the five boroughs of New York City!

The graphic below illustrates the density proposed by Landmark in relation to Corvallis and other comparable cities.

This parcel is simply too big and too valuable to the entire City to be inundated with a housing monoculture of this size and density. It must be developed in a responsible way that balances landowners’ rights with the needs of the City for affordable housing, student housing, and “compact, walkable, livable urban neighborhoods!”

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Derivation: To obtain the figures shown above, we consulted the U.S. Census, 2010 edition, for population figures for the comparison areas. We obtained land areas for various municipalities by using www.google.com on 8/28/2012, with queries of the form “<city> <state> land area”. We computed the approximate land area of the nearby neighborhood (bounded by 35th St., SW Western Blvd., Highway 20/34 and SW Ivy Pl) from Google Maps, and estimated its population from firsthand knowledge. The figures obtained by these means are shown in the table below.

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