Croman Mill Team Outline Project Vision – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News
Planned development includes 500 homes, shops, trails and more
Photo courtesy of Townmakers LLC | Concept drawing of the Croman Mill district by Laurence Qamar
ASHLAND — On the site of a municipal airport and then a lumber mill from 1934 to 1996, the Croman Mill project in South Ashland is being advertised by Townmakers LLC as “an urban extension of Ashland in a development at mixed-use, live-work-play that meets the city’s current needs and challenges,” according to the website.
Sixty people attended an open house hosted by project managers on January 12, armed with questions about parking, alternative energy and efficiency, cost per housing unit and timing, as planners described their vision of cottage courts, a designer ecosystem, community green space, fire and emergency services, light industrial uses, and connection between the north and south ends of the city.
Project objectives include cleaning up a brownfield site; create mixed-use space for neighbors to access parks, trails, a neighborhood center and businesses with family jobs; provide mixed-income and affordable housing; supporting a diversified economy; developing “innovative urban formats” and resource-efficient building systems; and focus on health and wellness.
Principal planner Michael Mehaffy said Wednesday that Croman Mill is the ideal site for the project, with access to a university, Interstate 5, a planned hiking and biking trail to the rail district and existing infrastructure. A purchase and sale agreement for the property has not yet been finalized, he said.
“That’s our goal, it’s really to build on the Ashland DNA, to build something that has the character and the beauty and the livability of Ashland in this place,” Mehaffy said.
According to the city’s land use code, the Croman Mill zoning district is a “master plan” to encourage family employment, commerce, neighborhood-oriented businesses, mixed-use projects and community services in ways that enhance property values by providing transportation options, preserve open spaces, and incorporate minimized impact on natural resources into site and building design.
As the project progresses, Mehaffy said, developers will need to run an analysis of the expected traffic impacts at the intersection of Mistletoe Road and Tolman Creek Road. A plan is in place to annex a stretch of road currently in the county, he said.
“We’ve seen how sprawl as a model is unsustainable, it generates a lot of these external impacts, but a more compact form of mixed development is inherently more sustainable,” Mehaffy said, adding that planning includes consideration of green energy systems. , geothermal energy and a “passive house” format.
With a hoped start date of 2023, a project of this scale should last around 10 years, he said. First, the project needs to see adjustments made to the city’s overall 2010 plan to align with market changes. For now, city builder Mike Weinstock is the main financier of the project, Mehaffy said.
“Infrastructure should be a pay-as-you-go system – it should pay for itself, not taxpayers,” Mehaffy said. “If there is any public participation, it must be an investment that yields more than what is invested on the public side. … If you build a walking and cycling path, you reduce the number of streets you have to build as a jurisdiction, for example.
The proposal includes approximately 500 housing units, equally divided between single-family and multi-family. Mehaffy said the developers intend to build a range of unit sizes, formats and prices with the goal of reaching a diversity of incomes and lifestyles throughout development.
“We’re a long way from having all of this finalized, of course, but I’d like someone to be able to rent an apartment for $800 a month, or even buy a house – for 60% of the area’s median income, they could qualify for this,” he said, referring to the need to address the affordable housing crisis through partnerships with organizations like Habitat for Humanity. “We have to be creative in how we meet this challenge. “
Further project details and a contact form are available at townmakers.net/croman-mill.
Contact reporter Allayana Darrow at [email protected] or 541-776-4497.