New construction on Verda will not adversely affect flood plain

Owens Construction worker, Kaleb Johnston, operates an excavator at the site of the new “Verda Crossing” housing development. (CHARLES GLENN/KEIZERTIMES)

A 112-unit apartment complex is under construction on Verda Lane NE, between Dearborn Ave. NE and Chemawa Road NE, tentatively named Verda Crossing. Building permits are still pending, but the developer, Clutch Industries, has received approval from the city to begin excavating the site in preparation for building.

The construction has caused some concern with local residents due to the flood plain that covers a large portion of the property, however City Planner Shane Witham says the Planning Department has evaluated the plans and has no concerns about environmental impact.

“The city actually owns a lot of that flood plain property, and the drainage plans all meet specifications, he said. “The lower-level apartments, which will be the three-story units, will cover some of the slope that leads down into the flood plain, but not all the way down.”

Witham said Clutch included a wetland delineation plan that promises to leave the flood plain as pristine as it is, now.

He added that Clutch intends to have their building contractor, Owens Construction, plant a number of trees on the site, add a berm to cut down light pollution in the evenings, and take all the necessary steps to preserve the flood plain environment.

Witham said the city eventually plans a wetland enhancement project for the property.

The complex will comprise a total of eight buildings, with two-story buildings along Verda Lane and three-story units in the back along the slope.