Confusion surrounds Tannler Drive property as hearing nears
Less than two weeks before a proposed "development agreement" regarding an 11-acre property on Tannler Drive was set to come before the West Linn City Council, confusion arose when the same developers scheduled a pre-application meeting with the City Feb. 1 for a different application on the same property.
At that Feb. 1 meeting, the applicant — Tannler Properties LLC — presented preliminary details on a mixed-use development with 216 housing units and 30,500 square feet of commercial space on the bottom floor. Such a project would be significantly different from the original proposal detailed as part of the development agreement, in large part because it is a standard mixed-use development and thus would not require a zone change.
"The timing has been a touch confusing for me," said West Linn Planning Manager John Boyd. "I asked the development company for clarification on if they are withdrawing the development agreement. No answer yet."
Tannler Properties LLC did not return requests for comment from the Tidings. Attorney Michael Robinson, who has represented Tannler Properties in the past but recently changed firms, would not confirm if he still represented Tannler and said he could not comment on any matters related to clients.
The property, which is located at the corner of Blankenship Road and Tannler Drive, has a long history. Two years after the council denied an application for mixed-use development due to its low percentage of commercial development, developer Jeff Parker and his colleagues at Tannler Properties opted for a different approach by submitting an application in September 2017 for a "statutory development agreement" with West Linn.
That agreement laid out a series of steps and conditions to be followed by both the City and the developer during the development review process. In exchange for the City's promise to review "in good faith" a series of upcoming applications — including those for zoning changes and the proposed development itself — Parker and Tannler Properties stated in the proposed agreement that they would pay to realign Tannler Drive through the property and install a traffic signal at that new intersection if a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) proved the need for one.
The realignment and other measures described in the development agreement would only take place if the City Council were to approve the final development applications from Tannler Properties. Parker's intention with the 2017 proposal — as he laid out at a community meeting in November — was to rezone the north side of the property from "Office-Business Center" (OBC) to a residential zone of R 2.1, which would allow for the construction of apartments. A large national fitness center — the name of which was not disclosed — would anchor the southern half of the property.
At the time, City attorneys told the council that such an agreement would be unprecedented for West Linn. A council hearing on the matter, originally scheduled for December, was pushed to February 2018 at the applicant's request to allow for more community engagement.
Now, just a few days before the hearing Feb. 12, the City is left wondering which direction Tannler Properties wants to go. Associate Planner Jennifer Arnold, who attended the Feb. 1 pre-application meeting, said the applicants did not address their plans during that meeting.
"They didn't indicate if they were withdrawing the current application," Arnold said. "This (new) application, it's not what they had in mind when they started the development agreement, from my understanding.
"They can't have two applications at one time. One needs a resolution before they submit this application, or something has to be withdrawn."
As of a City Council work session Monday, Feb. 5, City Manager Eileen Stein said that the hearing was still on for Feb. 12.