GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A dispute over the location of a new low income housing complex is headed to an appeals committee and possibly to court.
Just across the street from the Maple Park townhomes are empty lots and the Housing Authority of Jackson County is hoping those will become options for low income housing. Now, the issue may be headed to court.
Only 28 of the 88 upscale townhomes that were planned for the Maple Park development were completed before the developer went bankrupt. Last year, the Housing Authority of Jackson County purchased the land that includes the undeveloped units in hopes of putting in low income apartments.
“They’re not bad people, they’re good people just like anybody else but they come from a totally different demographic,” said Maple Park resident Jim Frego.
Residents said this is not what they had in mind when purchasing the town homes for around a quarter of a million dollars.
The low income housing plans were initially approved by the Grants Pass Planning Department, but then reversed by city council.
“The city council overturned the planning commission and denied the permit by voting 6-2 to deny the permit based upon traffic problems, parking problems, utility problems and fire access,” said Frego.
Now the Housing Authority of Jackson County has appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals, as well as threatened a law suit against the city of Grants Pass.
Both city council and the Housing Authority of Jackson County declined to comment on camera, but in an e-mailed statement, the housing authority said they have tried to have to collaborate with others but feel their final option may be to settle the matter in court on behalf of the citizens they believe were discriminated against.
As for the appeal to L.U.B.A. residents said they will try their best to present their side.
“We’re not real happy about this situation,” said Frego.