Village Campus Center proposal is met with opposition from area residents
“Our property will lose value with increased traffic, light and noise pollution.”
~Elizabeth O’ Connell, president of Awbrey Butte Neighborhood Association
Residents that live near the proposed Village Campus area are concerned how the building project will affect their lives and their homes.
Traffic, noise, and loss of property value are some of the complaints made by local residents, whose homes are in close proximity to the construction site. The Village Campus will be built on more than 40 acres, with the construction of residential, commercial, office space, and college use buildings.
“It doesn’t pencil out,” said Kennith Chard, who is an opponent to the construction of the proposed area. Chard explained that his home will be one of the most affected.
One of Chard’s concerns is that the construction site will create an excess in traffic congestion.
A meeting took place in June 2009 where residents could voice their concerns. At the meeting Myles Conway, an attorney for COCC, stated that keeping traffic on campus will reduce congestion.
Elizabeth O’ Connell, the president of Awbrey Butte Neighborhood Association, is also an opponent of the construction. In a document submitted to the planning commission O’ Connell wrote that, “our property will lose value with increased traffic, light and noise pollution.”
“I was told by two board members to close my blinds and windows so I wouldn’t be bothered by the lights of the parking lot on all night long,” wrote O’ Connell, a situation she feels would bring down the value in property.
Katherine Bolster, the principal broker for BIG Real Estate Group, represented Rod and Gloria Elliot, also opponents of the construction. Bolster stated that the value of their home would decrease by 15 to 18 percent in lieu of the construction.
“There’s too many houses for rent right now,” said Chard who also questioned the proposed residential area of the project. “Bend’s housing market isn’t great right now. I don’t see that turning around anytime soon,” he said.
A residential area has been incorporated into the Campus Village project. Single family use homes, which is a free-standing home or condominium, are in the plans to be built on 12 acres.
“We’ve had buyers that were turned off,” said Bolster, explaining that potential buyers are wary of the high density the Campus Village will bring to the area. “It’s the density [of the Campus Village] that turned them off,” said Bolster.
In order to mitigate these issues COCC has created a buffer zone where no construction will take place. Jim Middleton, president of COCC, explained that buildings that could potentially obstruct views from homes would be built farther back in the village campus area.
Individuals in favor of the construction wrote letters of personal approval. Roger Lee, the director of Economic Development for Central Oregon, wrote that the project will enhance the educational experience.
“[The project will] provide COCC with the opportunity to further diversify its revenue sources in the future,” said Lee.
David Olsen, who lives a half mile from the 40 acre of open land, is in favor of the project. Olsen wrote that he doesn’t look forward to the construction on the site, but says that the Campus Village will, “benefit not only the areas’ neighbors but also the Central Oregon community at large.”
Kennith Chard admitted that the master contractor behind the project, William Smith Properties, does exceptional work.
William Smith Properties also was a part of the construction of The Old Mill District.
“It’s going to depend on the quality of development,” said Chard.
You may contact Eric Ercanbrack at firstname.lastname@example.org