Appeals court upholds proposed Eugene development

EUGENE, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld in a Eugene city ruling that gives a couple the OK to develop housing on 18 acres.

The decision caps more than a decade of legal fighting between Martin and Leslie Beverly and people who contend the stream-laced property at the Amazon Creek headwaters should remain undeveloped.

The Beverlys are marketing the site to developers, and asking $2.5 million, said their attorney, Bill Kloos. An adjacent separate parcel — 8 acres for which the couple does not have development approval — is for sale at $1.25 million, he added.

Despite the setback, an attorney representing the neighborhood group that opposes the development said the fight is not over. He said they will oppose the additional permits needed to develop the proposed 47 lots.

“This site is simply too important to the Amazon headwaters, the livability of Eugene and our future generations to see it transformed by shingles and pavement,” attorney Dan Snyder said in an email to The Register-Guard newspaper (http://is.gd/1rimjr).

Much of the case has hinged on how the steepness of the slopes on the property was measured. City rules bar developers from excavating or grading slopes that are steeper than 20 percent.

The Beverlys favored a measurement system allowing 75 lots. The neighbors favored a system allowing zero lots.

Initially, city staff recommended rejecting the 75-lot application. Then, the staff offered to approve 47 lots, based on a different measurement system.

A city hearings official favored the slope measurement system advocated by neighbors and rejected both the 75-lot and 47-lot proposals.

The Beverlys appealed to the city planning commission, which approved the 47-lot proposal. The Land Use Board of Appeal also supported that proposal.

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