The project continues to move forward, with most of the action occurring behind the scenes right now. On December 5th our architects Brian Melton and Stephanie Fitzhugh, with a Building Design Team representative, met with planning and public works staff at the City of Corvallis to discuss the elements of a complete land use application to the city. The requisite application for our project is a Conditional Development Permit with Lot Development Option, which will include three variances from standard requirements. Our specific requested variances will focus on pedestrian improvements (sidewalk and landscaping replacement) and vehicular access (driveway standards).
In an information-packed and slightly frustrating meeting, we gained a better understanding of the city’s checklist for a complete land use application, which will be submitted in early 2018. After a 30-day completeness review, the city will either request more information or declare the application complete and schedule a hearing before the Planning Commission.
When our application is declared complete, and before the city mails formal notice of the Planning Commission hearing, we will host a neighborhood meeting at UUFC. This will allow concerned neighbors to ask questions and voice concerns. A neighborhood meeting is always a good idea, providing an opportunity for nearby residents to learn of our plans directly from us, and engage with us in an informal setting. Conversations can occur and issues can be discussed, which will ideally lead to a more streamlined and non-confrontational Planning Commission hearing, and a more cohesive neighborhood.
Right now the architects are working on our land use application, informed by the results of the completed property survey and geotechnical report. While this is underway we are awaiting the completion of a seismic/structural evaluation of the existing structure; and a task force has begun examining options for replacing flooring in the sanctuary. The Board of Trustees has placed the flooring replacement on a fast track, not dependent upon the new construction. In January a kitchen design team will begin meeting to research and recommend a plan for the new kitchen. Also underway is a task force to deal with the large cedars on the east property line. They will be removed and replaced with more appropriate trees, with a timeline yet to be determined.
For a refresher on the previous work of the Building Enhancement Project, the Our Shared Future campaign, and the steps our congregation has taken to reach this stage, please refer to this page of the UUFC website.