West Woodburn resident expresses his disappointment in the building of an apartment complex in neighborhood

Last year my wife and I purchased a fixer-upper home near the heart of West Woodburn. We've made good progress and have been supported by neighborhood compliments. Our son, his wife and their 2-year-old are residing there as they begin their journey as a family.

Personally growing up in Woodburn, I have been familiar with the West Woodburn development since its beginnings in the early 1970s. While working on this home over the past eight months, I've noted how friendly and quiet the neighborhoods are and it is also noted in most conversations with the neighbors. West Woodburn is situated right next to the outlet mall and has avoided most of the hectic activities and traffic problems associated with the mall, due to the configuration of the entrance-exit which bypasses most of their neighborhood.

We received a letter this week informing us of a current proposal to build a 300-unit apartment complex on the west side of the outlet mall which will be accessed directly through West Woodburn and dumping on to Woodland Avenue at Steven Street. There are currently no apartment complexes. A 300-unit complex will no doubt house well over 1,000 residents and also greatly increase vehicle traffic through West Woodburn.

One must note that our city planning, not unlike many others, has a rich history that leans toward the almighty dollar rather than what's best for neighborhoods or the community. It seems that adequate infrastructure needs are usually looked at in the rearview mirror AFTER we've passed the point of no return. Woodburn is still reeling with traffic flow problems, even after spending millions to try to correct past mistakes.

A community meeting will be at the Woodburn Fire Station on July 19 at 6 p.m.

John Catterson


Contract Publishing

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