First of Foster Lake homes near completion

Sean C. Morgan

Dan McGarry and his partners plan to have two units of their Foster Lake townhouses complete by April 17.

The third unit will be complete soon after.

Dan McGarry, Steve Leith and Dennis Gibson, all of the Corvallis-Philomath area, are working on the first three-unit building of an 11-unit subdivision overlooking Foster Lake at the intersection of Highway 20 and 60th Avenue. The project is located on top of the old Foster Dam Road.

“There’s nothing like this in the state of Oregon,” McGarry said. “There are no houses on a lake in the state of Oregon that are literally maintenance free for you.”

Oregon has houses and apartments on lakes, but none have maintenance provided, like these homes will, McGarry said.

The developers went before the Planning Commission on Monday to make adjustments to the subdivision plat and request a variance.

The subdivision includes eight units in three buildings directly overlooking the lake. A third three-unit building will sit at the corner of Highway 20 and 60th Avenue.

Under the replat that building will be bigger, about 2,700 square feet per unit, with two-car garages, McGarry said. He and his partners are planning those units as primary residences while the units by the lake will be marketed as vacation homes.

The permanent homes required a variance from a setback requirement of 20 feet to allow a 17-foot setback.

The replat includes about 750 more square feet of green space and less asphalt. It also adjusts the lot lines for the buildings. The Planning Commission approved the townhouse buildings with zero lot lines.

That cost the developers about $12,000 more in construction costs on their first structure, McGarry said. With lot lines running along the walls, the sides of the buildings had different building standards and could not include windows or exhaust fans. The walls had to be built with fire-treated plywood.

Moving the lot lines three feet from the walls, as they requested Monday night, all of those rules change even though no buildings are moved.

The new homes will start at $475,000.

The partners also are planning a new RV park to the west, across 60th Avenue.

The plans for the park are in their final stages, McGarry said. Plans for a three-story building, with a view of the lake, in the park remain subject to negotiations with an anchor restaurant.

The bottom floor of the building will include a convenience store and bait and tackle shop, McGarry said. It will also include laundry and shower facilities.

He and his partners do not wish to compete with local stores, so their store will be small and used by campers and persons coming up in their boats.

The developers would like to put a restaurant on the second floor, but that’s under discussion right now with a possible restaurant. The top floor would be the owner’s residence.

McGarry hopes to begin work on the RV park this summer.

The developers are continuing to work on plans for a 50-slip marina behind the new homes.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” McGarry said. “We have a designer with pretty good ideas so we can expand if needed.”

The marina is in design stage right now, and the Corps and Linn County Parks and Recreation Department have not seen it yet, McGarry said. The developers have talked with both agencies about the project, and they are aware that plans are coming .

The question the developers are working on in the designs is how to handle low water levels, whether to let the docks to lay down on the lakebed or move outward into the lake and remain afloat.

Probably, some will continue to float so sailboat owners do not need to pull out for the winter.

McGarry and partners would like to begin work on the marina by fall. They will begin a formal process with the Corps when plans are complete, he said. “If it’s anything like moving this road (60th Avenue), it could be up to two years from now.”

The process with moving the road went well, McGarry said. Everything went as expected, except they did not expect the process to take as long as it did.

“The Corps has been great,” McGarry said. “They’ve been easy to work with. We were just not familiar with their formalities.”