SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Residents of the Patrician mobile home park and other concerned citizens will be sharing their public comments with the Springfield City Council on Tuesday night.
Urban Transitions LLC wants to rezone the 13.6-acre park, which contains 81 manufactured and mobile homes for residents 55-years-old and older, to mixed-use commercial in order to develop new restaurants, businesses and apartments in its place.
According to the City of Springfield, this move could displace vulnerable populations like seniors, disabled people and veterans.
"It's not that unusual to see this type of land-use action to occur. But what's unusual is that there are actually affected residents," said Springfield senior planner Andy Limbird.
The Springfield Planning Commission voted to recommend against the rezoning in July. The council will take this and testimony from Thursday's public comment session into account while deliberating on the issue. They will need to wait until at least the next council meeting to announce their decision, though it may take longer.
"Clearly it's important to the city overall. So the outcome of this will dictate the future of the Gateway area to a large degree," said Limbird.
Former Lane County Commissioner Steve Cornacchia said that when the Gateway area was first being developed in the 1990s, similar questions about the Patrician arose. At the time, zoning decisions required agreement between the county, Springfield and Eugene.
"We had the authority and the veto power to say yes and no on these types of matters. When it came to the Patrician, we felt that it better served the community as a high-quality neighborhood for one of our most vulnerable populations," said Cornacchia.
According to the city, even if the council decides against rezoning the mobile home park, Urban Transitions LLC could still decide to close down the park.