Astoria Co-op’s new store design is missing an opportunity. We read that Astoria needs more affordable housing for our workforce. There are those in the city who favor selling our parks to provide places for more housing stock. The new Astoria Co-op could place a few apartment units above their proposed 10,000-square-foot store. At their June 8 meeting, the general manager agreed it wasn’t yet designed, and the units would help their employees.
The store uses most of a parcel that is zoned for multifamily units. The co-op’s blog tries to convince us that “height limitations” are a main reason for not adding affordable units. If they ask our city’s planning department, they would learn their site would permit even more than a two story building.
Everything I’ve heard about the owner/architect of the proposed co-op building is very positive. I am surprised he convinced our co-op board to agree to a single story building simply to save money. I have always appreciated the slogan of our founding “Mamas & Papas” that reads “food for people, not for profit.” I will find it very sad if our city pushes to sell one of our parks to use the land for affordable housing, because our co-op store was built on one of our city’s few parcels zoned multifamily.
At our Sept. 17 annual meeting, I hope other owners let our board know we should use our new building to help provide workers and retired people in our city affordable housing. As a co-op member/owner, I am in favor of the new store, but believe we should provide more for our community than what will be shown at our annual meeting — even if we must partner with groups like the Oregon Housing Alliance or Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association.
Since the project has not been submitted to the city perhaps “housing for people, not for profit” should be a new slogan.
George (Mick) Hague