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GRESHAM, OR-Bellevue, WA-based American Property Development is planning a gated, 264-unit apartment complex on 20 acres of wooded property it owns west of the Gresham Station shopping center. Columbia Trails is proposed to consist of seven three-story apartment buildings and a separate recreation facility. City planning staff accepted comments on the project through last week, and are expected to respond to the developer’s proposal in January.

The use is appropriate for the site, but neighbors still are concerned about the loss of trees on the site. The grove includes an estimated 200 mature firs, some of them more than 120 feet tall. However, its policy of preserving trees is more of a suggestion than a requirement, and the trees on the site also aren’t considered significant enough to warrant special protection under other parts of the city’s code. American Property has, however, agreed to spare some 22 trees along Wallula Street where it plans to meander a sidewalk through them.

The project is also smaller than originally envisioned. In 1999, American Property filed preliminary plans to build an 800-unit apartment complex. The company missed a development deadline, however, and forfeited a $32,374 application fee.

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