Meeting to be held on the fate of Canco Woods

Last month I wrote about concerns by Torrey Street residents that the nearby 12.75-acre wooded lot nearby, dubbed Canco Woods, might be developed according to the light industrial zoning covering that lot if/when it’s sold. It’s on the market and it’s under contract for sale, but it’s not yet clear with whom.

I subsequently blogged that the neighbors would be willing to pool resources and try to come up with a bid to buy the woods if the current sale falls through.

Well, more news on this subject may be coming, as District 4 City Councilor Cheryl Leeman has scheduled a neighborhood meeting for Tuesday night to discuss the future of the property. Leeman had been in touch with the neighbors all along, and she has had conversations on the topic with Drew Sigfridson, the broker handling the pending sale. Perhaps she’s obtained more information on what’s being considered for the site. But in any case, she knows what’s allowable there according to city zoning and what municipal processes stand between any proposed development and fruition.

A clear layout of that path, so the Canco Woods preservation group knows how and where they can influence the development, would be a valuable topic of conversation at the meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Ocean Avenue Elementary School.

Also adding to the news on this subject is an official statement by the Back Cove Neighborhood Association, which previously had stayed out of the fray. The statement doesn’t illustrate a strong or surprising stance, but is useful to have:

The Back Cove Neighborhood Association recognizes the importance of the Canco Woods property to both the Back Cove neighborhood and larger community. As one of Portland’s last undeveloped urban wild spaces, this area has been an important asset to the neighborhood for decades and offers a unique informal network of trails that is currently widely used by residents of the Back Cove neighborhood and beyond. This 12.75 acre wooded area enhances the quality of the neighborhood by creating a buffer to the industrial landscape of Canco Road. Any development should be conscientious, balanced and sustainable to retain the important residential qualities of the neighborhood. The Back Cove Neighborhood Association asks for careful stewardship of this land as it contains delicate ecosystems including wetlands, possible vernal pools and an abundance of forest wildlife.

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.