Developer seeks community input on Southwest Norwood Road plan

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Ken Sandlast (left) and Ken Allen lead a community meeting in possible Southwest Norwood Road plans. Holly Goodman/Tualatin Life
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A new development team with plans for a Southwest Norwood Road site at the center of a contentious and ultimately failed apartment proposal earlier this year says they’re listening and soliciting community input.

This map shows the property at the corner of Southwest Boones Ferry and Norwood Roads.
This map shows the property at the corner of Southwest Boones Ferry and Norwood Roads.

Ken Allen, who recently bought the smaller of two parcels that total 9.2 combined acres adjacent to Horizon Community Church, launched Norwoodhousing.com to collect feedback and suggestions on a possible path forward that the neighbors can live with.

The site, which contains a “We’re listening” splash page with links to an aerial map of the site and a feedback survey, went live in August.

Allen and land use planner Ken Sandblast met with the community on Aug. 29 to hear concerns and suggestions.

“I’m going to work with you all to explore what could be at the site,” Allen told about two dozen people who joined him at the first of three meetings he plans to host. “We know apartments didn’t work.”

Allen is in contract with Horizon to purchase the remaining 8.2 acres, contingent on land use approval. “We can’t buy land and pay what they want if we don’t know what we’re building.”

His vision is housing. He’s looking to the community to help define the form.

“We know it won’t be a shopping center, and it won’t be apartments,” he said.

Allen brought building blocks and equipped each table with post-its and pens for participants to leave comments, concerns, and suggestions on easels around the room. Among the concerns, increased traffic was paramount.

“These are two people trying to reach a compromise,” Tualatin Community Involvement Organizations president Tim Neary said. “I don’t know much about this process, but I’m committed to being here and seeing where it goes. That doesn’t mean that what we arrive at here will result in a specific project, but the hope is that this will inform the stakeholders and those invested in creating something that is accepted and good for the community.”

The possibility of a cottage cluster that retains greenspaces throughout the property gained the most traction, particularly if it is a 55+ community that could give downsizing residents a place to stay in the neighborhood.

Other suggestions included mixed-use with street-level retail and condos on the upper floors.

Preserving trees would become a challenge in that scenario because retail occupants typically want to be easily visible, and most of the trees on the property are clustered near the road.

An additional community meeting is scheduled for 7-8:30 pm Sept. 27 at Marquis Café, 19805 SW Boones Ferry Rd. 

Access the feedback form online at Norwoodhousing.com.

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