Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, December 13, 2017, Image 1

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C ottage G rove
S entinel
(541) 942-0555
N. Douglas, Elkton dominate. Cottage
Grove falls short. B1
For a complete six-
day forecast please
see page A5.
Low inventory and high demand
has caused rental prices to
increase in Cottage Grove,
creating a housing dilemma for
By Caitlyn May
ive years ago, Cottage Grove realtor
Darren Hemingway could have up to 30
rentals on the books. Now, it’s not un-
common for renters giving their 30-day notice to
bring a friend. “The second they turn in the 30-
day notice, they put their application in so no one
can jump ahead of them,” he said. “It happens all
the time now.”
It’s because the law of supply and demand is in
full swing in Cottage Grove. The city has more
renters than rentals and the prices per month are
refl ective of the change.
“They (prices) are defi nitely rising,” Heming-
way said. “The main reason is because the lack
of inventory, there’s just not a lot out there. It’s
also the value of the properties. A lot of the newer
ones, the mortgages are so high, the rents have to
be high to cover them.”
On average, a one-bedroom apartment in Cot-
tage Grove ranges from $450 to $600 a month.
Two-bedrooms run anywhere from $600 to $950
and the monthly rent on a three-bedroom apart-
ment can reach $1,600. “Something special, can
go up from there,” Hemingway said.
A few times a month, Community Sharing Di-
rector Mike Fleck gets a list of available rental
properties in Lane County. He scans the list for
Cottage Grove availabilities and for a time, he’d
come up empty.
“In the last month or two I have been seeing
one or two available. Still, that’s very, very lean,”
he said.
Fleck, who heads the city’s
largest food pantry and service
that aims to provide services
to low-income residents, says
he’s been concerned with the
housing shortage in Cottage
Grove for the last few years.
That concern lead to action af-
ter the hiring of former Lane
County Commissioner Faye
Stewart by the city. As head of
the newly combined commu-
nity development and plan-
ning department, Stewart was
asked to meet with builders
and realtors to discuss the con-
cerns surrounding the city’s
housing shortage. The number
one concern? The city’s planning department.
According to Fleck, as a result, Stewart is
working to streamline the planning process and
addressed the most stalled part of that process—
engineering—by hiring an additional engineer.
Other barriers to development include system
development charges (SDC fees) and the avail-
ability of bank loans for construction projects.
During a recent trip to the League of Cities con-
ference, Fleck said he hears several possible op-
tions to address the housing issue. “I’ve avoided
advocating low-income housing because there’s a
stigma around that,” Fleck said. However, after the conference, he
said there’s several ways cities have taken on the controversial topic
that he hopes to look into including applying for community devel-
opment grants and exploring an urban renewal district.
The Cottage Grove City Council has already received a presen-
tation on the ins and outs of urban renewal districts earlier this year
and may see the topic on an agenda again later in the new year.
In short, an urban renewal district would select an area of Cottage
Grove, freeze property values within that area and as a result, as
property values outside the district increase, the difference between
those frozen values and increased values goes to the district. The
Please see RENTALS PG. A6
'Tis the season, for
package thieves
Tips for protecting online
holiday orders
By Caitlyn May
The movers and shakers of Cottage Grove gather for the PeaceHealth clinic's annual banquet. CEO Tim Hermann speaks on the facility's accomplishments
before detailing the latest project and fundraising effort.
Banquet supports hospital improvements
By Caitlyn May
2017 was a busy, strong year for Cottage
Grove Community Medical Center accord-
ing to CEO Tim Hermann.
Hermann took the podium at the organi-
zation's annual holiday banquet to preach
the facility's accomplishments over the last
year to approximately 70 residents, busi-
ness owners and sponsors as well as unveil
the hospital's latest fundraising effort; a
$150,000 conference room remodel.
The makeover would allow the space to
serve as an in-patient treatment area and
expand services rather than direct patients
to Eugene. According to Hermann it would
also allow the hospital to better utilize its
In an effort to raise the funds, the banquet
kicked off with an auction that saw a private
‘Twas two weeks before Christmas when all through the town,
deliveries vanished between dawn and sundown. The packages
were dropped by Amazon, with care. Their drivers and drones
unaware that thieves would soon be there.
It’s a common story in Cottage Grove throughout the year—
packages ordered online and delivered to residences routinely go
missing from porches and front yards. As the holidays approach
and Christmas gifts are delivered, residents may see an uptick in
items stolen from their front yard.
According to the most recent data from Shorr—a packaging
company founded in 1922 that serves several larger outlets—41
percent of Americans receive between two and fi ve packages
from online purchases a month. That number increases during
the holiday when the report notes 49 percent of online shoppers
will order an item that is more than $500.
A glance through the Cottage Grove Police Department’s daily
report of incidents throughout the city show several suspected
package thefts—often overnight. Residents concerned about the
theft of their online orders join the 41 percent of shoppers who
said they avoided some purchases online for fear of the item be-
ing stolen off their front steps.
For residents in Cottage Grove expecting to be part of the 70
percent of homeowners who will order holiday gifts online this
year, Cottage Grove Police has a few tips on how to prevent
package theft.
According to the department, most online retailers allow pack-
ages to be shipped to any address. This means shoppers can send
Please see PACKAGES PG. A7
Please see BANQUET PG. A6
Girls rule
Girls dominated in
basketabll around Douglas
County this week. PAGE B1
Goodbye 2017
City council holds last
meeting of the year. PAGE A6
Calendar ...................................... B11
Channel Guide ............................... B5
Classifieds ...................................... B7
Obituaries ...................................... A2
Opinion ......................................... A4
Sports ............................................ B1
(541) 942-3325 ph • (541) 942-3328 fax
P.O. Box 35, Cottage Grove, OR 97424
Corner of Sixth and Whiteaker, Cottage Grove
Rain Country Realty Inc.
Licensed in the
State of Oregon •
1320 Hwy 99 • 541-942-7246