EUGENE, Ore. — A planned housing development off River Road is eliciting controversy in the neighborhood where it’s been proposed, and the city will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss preliminary approval for the project.
The development is a cohousing project called Oakleigh Meadow, which would sit on a two-and-a-half acre parcel of land. It would be communal housing, meaning that while residents will have their own homes, they’ll also share a common house, amenities, and meals.
“I think the old paradigm of living in your own single-family dwelling, isolated from everyone else, is just not working anymore,” says Will Dixon, the cohousing project manager. “So we’re making a very sort of conscious effort to come together more and share and feel more secure and have a sense of belonging.”
While the cohousing aspect has earned approval from most in the community, the size of the project has led to controversy. Oakleigh Meadow was originally intended to be a 10-unit complex, but the concept has since expanded to 28 units with a 47-car garage. Some nearby residents say they’re concerned about increased traffic in such a small neighborhood. Others are concerned that it will drive down the value of their homes and negatively impact the environment.
The developer says the complex meets the requirements of land use plans for the area and he says he will present that at Wednesday’s meeting to address residents’ concerns. A large turnout is expected at the meeting, so it’s been relocated to the Eugene Public Library.