Competitor delays final vote on application approval

The final hearing on the application for the Nyberg Rivers development ended not with a vote, but with a request the record remain open for seven days. The objection was filed by attorney Seth King on behalf of ZIAN Limited Partnership, which owns Haggen Food and Pharmacy and the Hedges Greene Shopping Center near the proposed development site.

The law firm Perkins Coie submitted a letter of opposition to CenterCal Properties’ master plan and request for a conditional-use permit last August, arguing the requested conditional-use permit was not consistent with the central commercial and commercial office planning zones in question.

The request precluded the Architectural Review Board from taking a vote at the end of the nearly five-hour hearing on Monday night.

The board will reconvene on the Dec. 18 to review any additional information submitted, but will not accept testimony.

The board will then hold its final vote, with the options of accepting CenterCal’s application with city staff recommendations, accepting the application with the board’s amended findings and recommendations, or denying the application.

The 307,000-square-foot commercial development on the nearly 32-acre site of the former Kmart store will be anchored by a Cabela's retailer and include a New Seasons Market. It will also raze the building that currently houses the Jiggles strip club, which has long marked the entrance to Tualatin from the I-5 freeway.

Prior to King’s request at Monday’s hearing, the board heard public comment on the development.

Property owner Art Nyberg commented in support of the development.

"It's going to be a great engine economically," he said.

Kathy Newcomb commented both in support of and in objection to the development, she said. She was pleased with plans for the development, but unhappy about the inclusion of a plan to re-align Seneca Street, which would bisect the current City Council chambers and likely require the construction of a new city building.

"It was not an important project in the (Transportation System Plan)," Newcomb said. "By and large, (Citizens Involvement Organization)s did not want to be asked when (the extension) should occur, but whether it should occur at all."

The board spent the last two hours of the hearing posing questions to CenterCal representatives, with many board members expressing frustration that the developer had not addressed issues outlined during the board’s advisory review session on June 19. City staff specifically noted CenterCal’s problematic 5-foot-wide pedestrian walkways, which do not fit the city's development code requirement that walkways be a minimum of 6 feet in width. In addition, tree mitigation requirements called for an addition 15 "tall-maturing conifer trees," such as Douglas firs, to be planted where the development borders Interstate 5.

"I would like you to respond to some of the recommendations (from June 19)," board member Skip Stanaway said. "I don't see that any of them were considered."

Stanaway was also concerned the development as designed did not clearly meet city goals that the site would become a destination and community gathering point.

He also felt some aspects of CenterCal's design still lacked what he called a "wow factor."

"Right now, the entry leads you to nearly a blank wall," Stanaway said. "That is not a sense of entry, I guess, that was envisioned by this board."

He added, "Frankly, all you have is what's in other developments that are just long, concrete walkways."

Tualatin's Architectural Review Board is led by City Councilor Ed Truax. Members include Skip Stanaway, John Howorth, Robert Perron, Chris Goodell, Terry Novak and Michael Ward. The board is required to review all applications for commercial developments that are more than 50,000 square feet.

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