Developer looks to add housing to Springfield, but rezoning project concerns neighbors

A rezoning project could add more middle housing to Springfield. But neighbors are worried about their property values and the population density in the area. (SBG photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Springfield residents raised concerns Monday night over a rezoning proposal.

The rezoning project aims to tackle the issue of lack of middle housing. It would start at the parcel north of Q Street between the Fred Meyer Store and T Street.

At a city council meeting Monday, officials discussed whether the new project will affect property values.

“Really, there's no adequate buffer between the residential and the apartment zoning for one thing. The other thing you have to realize is that there are five residential families over there, and a rezone would give them another 144 families in that area,” said Bill Carpenter, a longtime resident in the neighborhood.

More than a dozen Springfield residents voiced their concerns at the meeting. The zoning amendment could change property in their neighborhood from a low-density residential area to mixture of a medium to high-density residential area.

The property owner, Roy Gray with CMC Development LLC is looking to rezone six lots on the nearly three-acre area adjacent to 5th Street and T Street in Springfield.

Proponents of the amendment say increasing residency in the area could help address the housing shortage within Springfield. The project also fits the definition of what’s being named as “missing middle housing.”

“We've got higher density housing on one side--urban housing like downtown housing--and low density residential housing on the other side. What's really missing in the spectrum is the missing middle, anything from duplexes to triplexes, four-plexes, apartments, things of that nature,” said Rick Satre, an applicant representative.

Many neighbors say they’re concerned that a heavy increase of residents in a small area could mean an increase in traffic, noise, and even crime.

“Everybody I've talked to -- the three major concerns are crime, traffic, and noise,” said Rex Meisenheimer, another neighborhood resident.

Another concern neighbors have mentioned is their property value decreasing.

“You've got to have some place to live; we're not against development, what we are against is high-density residential development which means huge apartments in our backyards,” Meisenheimer said.

It is still unclear exactly how many residential units the developer is considering for the area.

Meanwhile, Springfield City Council decided not to take any action Monday night as it was the first reading and public hearing for the plan.

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