Read roundup of 'letters to the editor' in support of Eugene's cohousing project

"Residents will be good neighbors" is the headline of the most recent "letter to the editor" to be published in local newspapers by people who support Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing, a mixed-generation cohousing project forming in Eugene, Ore. 

"I’m a member/developer of the Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing community," wrote Frannie Cross in the Oct. 3 Eugene Register-Guard. "I’m a single working mom and have been involved in the project from the beginning. ... I can understand the opposition to our plans to build on a previously undeveloped piece of land that many neighbors have had the opportunity to use in recent years for dog walking, etc." Read Frannie's entire letter.

Excerpts from additional "letters to the editor" published in support of our cohousing project are included below, and were the topics of previous blog posts. 

  • "When I moved to Oakleigh Lane in 1989, I appreciated the area’s diversity of houses and neighbors," wrote Joan Connolly. "Those beautiful friendships with next-door neighbors inspired the launch of a cohousing project at the river end of Oakleigh Lane. ... Slated for development — like all of the other large lots within the urban growth boundary — the blackberry patch at the end of Oakleigh Lane found its calling. ... However, a small band of adjacent neighbors have declared, 'It’s fine the way it is, stay away,' and kept the project in court for the past two years."
  • "After a five-year search, we invested our life savings as one of 22 current 'developers' of Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing," wrote Deb Carey. "While developing OMC has taken a lot of time, we’re cheered that our application has been approved three times — by the city hearings official, the city planning commission and the state Land Use Board of Appeals."
  • "... Smarter infill uses cohousing where committed residents become member-developers themselves," wrote S. Brian Willson. "Thus, I have become a member-developer in Eugene’s multi-generation Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing (OMC), similar to 200 others around the country."
  • "At 83 years old I am planning to reduce my dependency on my automobile," wrote R.C. Cross, a member-developer of Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing. "Much of my daily activity will be an easy walk from my home. Volunteer work on the kitchen garden, group dinners in the common house and, best of all, my grandchild can visit Grandpa with a short walk across the courtyard without crossing any streets."
  • "What’s really behind the resistance to Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing? How representative of the community as a whole is the opposition?" wrote Leslie Peterson. "The plan meets current zoning standards and is the type of infill that accommodates population growth while protecting farms and forests from unplanned development and urban sprawl." 
  • "The argument that people living in a cohousing community would drive fast and be unsafe on their neighborhood streets, risking the lives of children, is ironic," wrote Maureen McCauley, "Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing’s design assures cars won’t be the center of the community." 
  • "A city traffic engineer assured us the additional traffic on Oakleigh Lane after the development is built won’t make the street unsafe," wrote Joel Rosenblit. "A hearings officer, the city Planning Commission and the state Land Use Board of Appeals have approved our project."
  • "I share my neighbors’ concerns about safety on our joint access road," wrote Betty Grant. "For that reason, it’s reassuring to me that a review of our project by a traffic engineer concluded that the additional projected traffic falls well within safety standards established for Oakleigh Lane and similar streets." 
  • "OMC folks are a collaborative community seeking to create a sharing, caring and safe neighborhood environment," wrote Judi Horstmann. "We care about traffic safety for all modes in our city and on Oakleigh Lane." 
  • "Envision Eugene has worked to increase density without attacking our beautiful and very important farms and forests," wrote Ruth Duemler. "Oakleigh Meadow's cohousing design is a different approach to density, with a beautiful design perfect for bicycle travel and an emphasis on family involvement."

Also, "Cohousing community a viable plan," a Guest Viewpoint by Will Dixon was published in the Sept. 8, 2015, Eugene Register-Guard. Will, a local architect, is a member of Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing and our project manager.

Here are several excerpts: "The city of Eugene approved our development. So did the state Land Use Board of Appeals on all but one relatively small landscaping item, which we are more than willing to address. The LUBA decision was then appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals, which remanded the development back to Eugene — not on anything related to the OMC development, but because of a procedural misstep by the city in its notification process. The Eugene Planning Commission held a public hearing on July 28 to address the misstep, and agreed to include in its deliberations a traffic safety concern that had not been brought before it previously."