SEASIDE — Neighbors of a proposed 40-unit apartment complex asked the Seaside City Council Monday night to reconsider the Planning Commission’s approval of the workforce housing plan, citing traffic, sewer and public safety concerns.

Seaside faces a critical need for affordable housing. But a conceptual plan for a high-density zone change to allow 40 units on 2 acres at 2145 N. Wahanna Road has met with resistance.

The Planning Commission, over the objections of residents, advised the City Council to approve the zone change in March after holding a public hearing. The plan only indicated the type of development that might be possible if the zone change was approved.

Opponents returned to City Hall Monday night.

“Please consider the impact this will have on the surrounding environment and homeowners,” resident Susan McDonald wrote councilors.

McDonald, along with other residents, said the proposed change could lead to greater traffic woes and overburdened septic systems. The project could also fail to meet the need for affordable homes for the labor force.

“This is a huge project,” Seaside resident Dawn Miller said. “I’m not against change, but this is a little bit too much,”

The 3.75-acre property, of which 2.5 acres is buildable, is located between North Wahanna Road and the wetlands along Stanley Lake. The property is bounded to the north by the North Coast Family Fellowship and to the south by a single-family home.

Owner James Folk seeks to create two parcels — one west of North Wahanna Road and the other east of the road. Upon completion of the zone change, Folk’s Sierra Partners IV intends to construct an apartment complex consisting of five buildings, each containing eight units, with a total of 40 one- to three-bedroom units.

At a February Planning Commission meeting, Folk said units would rent for between $800 and $1,300 a month.

Folk said he anticipates a total of 104 residents could live in the five-building complex.

Monday, Donna Lyons of Warrenton expressed concerns about congestion, traffic and affordability.

“Forty units on less than 2 acres is ridiculous,” she said. “Wahanna Road is an extremely busy road.”

Lyons said those earning minimum wage would be unlikely to afford the rents asked.

Like other opponents of the plan, Lyons urged a lower density zoning designation for the property.

“The traffic is a big concern now,” neighboring property owner Billie Winsor said. “It doesn’t work for me.”

Lyons, Winsor and others said the proposed rents were still too high for those earning minimum wage or slightly above, and would fail to address the city’s housing needs.

Jennifer Bunch of Astoria’s Wickiup Consulting responded on behalf of the owner. “We’ve heard a lot of legitimate concerns, but those concerns are not addressing specific criteria relevant to the zone change,” Bunch said.

Sewers would be improved prior to construction, Bunch said, and public facilities would be installed at the owner’s expense. The proposed development would have no greater impact on traffic than a conditional use under the current zoning designation.

A lower zoning density proposal would likely be unprofitable for the owner, she added.

City councilors tabled the discussion until the council’s May 8 meeting.

If the zone change is granted, the land would then be annexed into the city for police, fire and water. The annexation would also need City Council approval.