The plan is long overdue and all they can do is wait.
Glenwood, Oregon residents, many of them being senior citizens/ disabled, are waiting to find out what will happen to their property once the Glenwood Refinement Plan is finalized. Local businesses could also be affected by the plan.
Glenwood is the one square mile area between Eugene and Springfield. Although for years it was in an urban growth boundary of Eugene, Glenwood has been under Springfield’s jurisdiction since 1986, which resulted in the first phase of the refinement plan.
The Glenwood Refinement Plan (GRP) is an overall project of how the community will be developed in the future. The purpose of the GRP is to improve the area to today’s urban standards.
“Glenwood is always talked of as a jam (troublesome situation) waiting to be developed,” said Steve Moe, a business owner and longtime Glenwood resident. Moe also held the chair position for the GRP’s planning team during the first two phases.
Based on a Jan. 2010 concept sketch of the GRP, Franklin Boulevard, also known as State Hwy. 126, will be widened for more space for the EMX lanes, which will clear out businesses on the south side of Franklin Blvd., such as Goofy’s Mufflers and the local U-Haul. According to the concept sketch, U-Haul might be replaced with a roundabout.
Another plan is to redevelop the area between the Willamette River and Franklin Blvd., which could clear out many businesses and trailer parks, in which senior residents live, for new student housing, parks, and office buildings. Unlike the former plan, this one is still in its planning stages.
Updates to the plan are made once in a while, the last one on June 4 (See story, below), but still with no finalized date of when both plans will take action, due to the City of Springfield having little money due to low taxes on the community. Some residents fear development will mean of losing their home, many with nowhere to go. Others shrug it off, as they have been doing so since 1986.
Jeremy Richman is the manager of Goofy’s Mufflers, and isn’t too worried about the City of Springfield’s pending decision on the GRP.
“If [the City of Springfield] wants to come in here and take the building or property or whatever, we’ll be right in line,” Richman said. “I’m sure they have to allow us a certain amount of time for that to happen and we would be hanging signs up on the building that we’ll be moving to such and such location.”
Debbie Barkley has lived in Glenwood and been the owner of Your Place- Buy and Sell pawnshop for 21 years. Her business is in the area between Franklin Blvd. and the Willamette River. Barkley says the area could be facing business relocation.
“We [could] lose our parking and eventually lose our building because they want it built a certain way. For 21 years, we’ve been waiting for redevelopment. So, we’ll just wait and see what happens.” Barkley says.
Mobile home owners are also concerned. Harry Ellison, 71, lives in Shamrock Mobile Homes, located in the same area between Franklin Blvd. and the river.
“There is not much you can do, not much if you have a mobile home. [The government] will pay $5000 for you to move out, but you will have to pay $5000 to get someone to haul it off,” Ellison said. “So I’m being kicked out with nothing. I’m hoping redevelopment will happen in 10 to 15 years, until I’m a dead man.”