County plans to participate of residence’s property for Lebanon intersection | Authorities-and-politics

Lebanon hasn’t been capable of persuade a 92-year-old man and his retired son to promote a nook of his property for a site visitors sign, so Linn County will in all probability take it.

County Commissioner Will Tucker confirmed on Thursday, Aug. 11 {that a} lawyer working for the county was growing an eminent area case that might usher enhancements to the intersection of Airport and Stoltz Hill roads.

Eminent area is a court docket course of that enables governments to take personal property for public functions by establishing a good worth worth for the land.

Metropolis employees and a county official assert they’ve not been capable of contact the proprietor, Paul Gregory, or son Rod Gregory to achieve an settlement.

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“Town tried. The county tried. And now I’ve tried, and we’re going to proceed with the declare,” Tucker stated.

Contact made

Rod Gregory was utilizing a string trimmer Friday, Aug. 12 to chop again grass on the property at 2015 Stoltz Hill, exterior a squat red-and-white ranch-style during which he stated he was “born and raised.”

“I’m residence 90% of the time,” Rod Gregory stated.

He returned to Lebanon to dwell together with his dad in 2017, he stated. Their residence was on the north finish of Stoltz Hill, on the suitable simply earlier than its termination at a cease signal and T-shaped intersection.

Builders prolonged the two-lane arterial road throughout Airport Highway and constructed a low-income, veteran-friendly residence block known as Applegate Touchdown that opened in 2021.

County highway division employees and Tucker requested proprietor Paul Gregory to cede .004 acres — 165.28 sq. toes — for about $2,400 {dollars} from the northwest fringe of his yard, or the southeast fringe of the just lately expanded Airport-Stoltz Hill intersection.

“It’s not occurring,” Rod Gregory stated.

The scene

Town in its guiding doc for bettering move of pedestrian and car site visitors estimates 60% of Lebanon’s labor power commutes from outlying areas. Highways 20 and 34 and Airport Highway repeatedly are eyed for potential site visitors sign, bike path and connector highway initiatives.

A proper flip from Stoltz Hill on the Gregory home merges with a gentle move of eastbound site visitors largely coming from Freeway 34, circumventing downtown Lebanon for town’s suburban southern edges.

To the left, visibility is restricted by a comfort retailer, Grandpa’s Groceries. Stoltz approaches Airport at an angle and vehicles make a comparatively sharp left flip to the west.

A automobile crosses in entrance of the site visitors from 34 and over a flip lane, then rolls previous the realm’s highschool.

With most site visitors passing via, Rod Gregory stated he doesn’t consider a protected left flip from Stoltz Hill will enhance site visitors.

“You’re going to have site visitors backed as much as Freeway 34,” he stated.

Each the grocery retailer and Gregory property are on the sting of metropolis limits, in Linn County and Lebanon’s city progress boundary.

The site visitors is coming

Applegate’s development set town up with a developer contribution for 25% of the intersection’s overhaul —and an opportunity to satisfy one in every of its transportation objectives to interrupt up the move of site visitors alongside Airport between twelfth and Seventh streets, bracketing to the west and east.

Growth netted a site visitors examine that confirmed site visitors delays have been throughout the metropolis’s requirements and that about 4 vehicles crash on the intersection annually, inside Oregon Division of Transportation specs.

However assuming metropolis grown, the identical examine initiatives that site visitors might exceed volumes or wait occasions that warrant a site visitors sign wherever from 2022 to 2028.

Metropolis Engineering Director Ron Whitlatch instructed Lebanon’s planning fee in 2020 that town wouldn’t anticipate site visitors volumes to set off enhancements on the intersection.

He reiterated in an Aug. 12 interview that the time for a sign is now, whereas site visitors volumes are nonetheless decrease than delays of fifty seconds or extra projected within the analyses.

“It’s solely going to get busier from there,” Whitlatch stated.

Lebanon notified Paul Gregory in March 2021 that it might want a sliver of his property to make room.

A draft plan of the intersection reveals a widened left flip from Stoltz and People with Disabilities Act-compliant curb cuts and bumpy yellow plates.

Curb cuts additionally eat into the Grandpa’s Grocery property throughout the highway, however the lot and enterprise proprietor has petitioned Lebanon for zoning adjustments that can enable a brand new comfort retailer and fuel station.

An engineer in an April 2021 memorandum recognized the proposal as a chance for Lebanon to pursue the Airport-Stoltz Hill sign.

One-sided negotiations

Rod Gregory, 68, acknowledged he hasn’t met with town since 2021. The primary supply got here in at $600. The county upped that to $1800 and tasked a commissioner to seal the deal. 

The final and standing supply was for $2,402, or .004 of the property’s estimated $545,821-per-acre market worth plus 10% annual inflation.

It’s not sufficient, Rod Gregory stated. The family is on a set earnings, he stated, and he stated he fears intersection enhancements could elevate the worth of the property and with it the property tax burden past what they might obtain. 

“We’re going to must pay for that enchancment in some way,” Rod Gregory stated.

He stated his requests to first Lebanon then Linn County to see plans for the site visitors sign and People with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks haven’t been met.

He stated each governments additionally failed to indicate justification for probably taking a slice of the property.

A draft plan shared with Rod Gregory reveals a schematic for lights and sidewalk cuts and, on the southeast nook of the intersection, the lacking nook of property. However that plan is a draft, 75% of the fully-designed overhaul.

And the site visitors research conclude a sign on the intersection just isn’t instantly warranted, even when town has prioritized site visitors enhancements on Airport in its transportation plan.

Rod Gregory stated he’d be keen to sit down down with officers and employees over finalized plans.

“If it goes to court docket, they’re going to have their large fancy legal professional, and we’ll be screwed,” Rod Gregory stated.

Alex Powers (he/him) covers enterprise, atmosphere and healthcare for Mid-Valley Media. Name 541-812-6116 or electronic mail Alex.Powers@lee.web.

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