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Major Lowell housing development advances

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By FERGUS MCCLAIN/for The Herald  —  A joint meeting of the Lowell City Council and Planning Commission gave “conceptual preliminary approval” to a 52-unit proposed development of apartments and houses on the city’s north hillside last night.

Developer Ledbetter Investments pledged to address questions raised about stormwater management and parking in their next phase of project development. The project will provide two parking spaces per housing unit, more than is required under new Oregon housing density regulations, according to Lowell City Manager Jeremy Caudle.

“This project is perfect for Lowell”

Though some raised questions about project details, local officials seemed to generally agree with Ledbetter spokesperson Wyatt Ledbetter, that “this project is perfect for Lowell.” Lowell’s sewer treatment plant has excess capacity, and its drinking water plant is being modified to service up to 110 new housing units, according to Caudle.

The new development will add 150-200 new Lowell residents, more than a 10% increase in the city’s population.

Local contractor says it’s the improvements in the schools

Commenting on the explosion in Lowell housing, Bridgeway Contracting owner Jerry Valencia said “This was bound to happen once Lowell accomplished its remodel and renewal of our schools. We build all over the state, and we see it everywhere: when you build new schools, development follows. Lowell school population has gone from less than 300 in the early 90’s to close to 1200 students now. The next step will be a bond measure to build a new high school for all the new elementary school students.”

Lowell has two recently established charter schools- Bridge and Mountain View academies. Lowell School District completed a major renovation of its physical plant, including construction of a new gymnasium, following voter approval of a $4 million school construction bond measure in 2017.

More units coming from local contractor

Bridgeway Contracting recently received approval for a 10-15 unit commercial and 60-unit condominium development across from Rolling Rock Park. Bridgeway also has significant other housing projects on the drawing board for Lowell.



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