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Collaboration Corvallis: A Project To Manage The Impacts of A University's Growth

Meeting Date: March 14th, 2014

Air Date: March 17th, 2014

Student enrollment at OSU grew at a rate of 8% a year for several years. That population increase sparked a community livability initiative by OSU president Ed Ray and Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning.

"Collaboration Corvallis" got underway in early 2012 with a three-year plan to develop recommendations for neighborhood livability that include land use planning, transportation, and parking policies for the changing environment. OSU's main-campus enrollment is 27,925 this academic year. Because most of those students live in Corvallis, university students make up almost half (45%) of the city's population.

The collaborative project began as an initiative of OSU President Ed Ray and Mayor Julie Manning. A scoping committee developed specific goals, and the City Council adopted the concept as an official goal in late 2011. The City/OSU collaboration steering committee includes not only the mayor and councilors, and OSU officials, but also has representatives from OSU’s student union, a county commissioner, and the community. Three citizen working groups are evaluating the issues tasked to the project.

Collaboration Corvallis focuses on land use and transportation planning. Finding appropriate housing for students and managing traffic and parking are its primary goals, and OSU has plans for additional on-campus housing. The project is also studying land-use rules for off-campus residential infill. The project also addresses issues of off-campus problem behaviors that occur at four-year schools whose students are often living away from home for the first time.

OSU’s enrollment growth and Collaboration Corvallis have revitalized the network of 28 officially recognized Neighborhood Associations. Neighborhood activists asked for and received official representation in Collaboration Corvallis.

copyright, 2014 KLCC