West Slope neighbors talk it out
- Christina Lent
- Beaverton Valley Times - News
Developer, residents working on an agreement to make the project better fit the neighborhood
West Slope neighbors are demonstrating the importance of community involvement in tackling complicated land-use issues.
During the next couple weeks members of the West Slope Neighborhood Association Committee will meet with developer Ronnie Wilson to see if they can reach an agreement on how many single-family homes will be built in the proposed Wilson Estates residential subdivision.
The Pointer Road Planned Unit Development is located north of Canyon Lane, south of Pointer Road and east of 75th Avenue in the heart of an established residential neighborhood.
Wilson would like to build 10 homes, while neighbors would like to see the number of homes whittled down to seven or eight.
'The neighborhood would like a development to go in,' said Sid Snyder, chairman of the West Slope NAC as he pointed to a rundown greenhouse and nursery on the site that has been an eyesore for years.
'We understand Metro's density requirements and the need for higher-density developments. Our concern is putting in a development that is so out of character from this neighborhood. This is an old, established neighborhood of older homes with mature landscapes that are fairly modest looking from the street.'
Part of the charm of the neighborhood is that people would be hard-pressed to find two homes that look alike, he said.
'The homes here run the gamut, this is not one of your cookie-cutter neighborhoods,' Snyder added. 'That's part of the appeal. We have a lot of different houses on very different lots.'
During last week's City Council meeting, Wilson granted an extension, postponing a ruling on a neighbor's appeal of his proposed development, so he could try to reach an agreement with neighbors.
'It doesn't hurt to sit down and talk to them to see if we can all get on the same page,' Wilson said of his reasons for allowing the timeout. 'Two weeks will not make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things if I can work something out with the neighbors.'
As a first step, Wilson attended the Tuesday night NAC meeting.
Dan Cox, who appealed the Planning Commission's approval of the project, also attended the meeting that attracted about 35 neighbors.
'We had an amicable discussion,' Snyder said. 'We plan to continue to meet up until the March 5 council meeting to try to decide whether the neighborhood would prefer bigger homes on fewer lots or smaller homes on more lots.'
Wilson plans to also work with neighbors on coming up with a solution to help mitigate cut-through traffic to Canyon Lane and safety concerns on a dangerous private road bordering the site.
But it's the number of lots that are on the table for discussion, Wilson said.
'What I don't think the neighbors realize is that if I'm building fewer homes, they're going to be larger and a more luxury product,' Wilson said. 'I may have to look at building a third story to make up the difference.'