Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Online comments show Streetcar & Developer Plans Not done with LO yet?

To all COLA LO Members,

This past week several comments have been posted on blogs outlining additional details that show that the Streetcar may return soon.  They also show ongoing plans of the developer and the city to use public funds for foothills development.

 Interestingly enough it also appears that Greg MacPherson donated to support measure 3-388 the measure which was drafted by county commissioners to oppose the citizen driven county wide vote on all Urban Renewal initiative 3-386.   MacPherson supported 3-388 which actually limited voter participation in Urban Renewal Districts and was considered very pro streetcar and light rail. 

This recent disclosure by an online blogger by a prospective Mayoral candidate once again drew online comments about the current political environment and voter sentiment.     

Here are recent blog postings by residents:
Greg Macpherson may actually be a strong proponent of light rail and streetcars.
Three months ago he gave $250 to the campaign for the Clackamas Commissioners phony competing measure on urban renewal (3-388).
PanchoPDX -- yes, there is no doubt about Greg MacPherson and rail projects. He also testified at the public hearing last April in favor of the Lake Oswego to Portland streetcar.
There are too many give-sways that nothing has changed regarding WDW plans for LO.
1. After Dike's outburst last year, only Christie White comes to LO council and public meetings representing the firm's partners. She is/was a lawyer and knows a thing or two about what to say and what to leave out. For her, it's all about what she doesn't say. Christie has never said they will not build without a streetcar -- though the threat was implied, only that the project would look "very different". The assumption being that different would be bad, but they never came up with an alternative to show anyone.
2. The Foothills Development Plan was approved prior to the streetcar plan which was waiting for an advisory vote of the citizens. Now that 2 councilors have pulled support for the streetcar, the vote is off. This was the desired outcome since a city survey determined the vote would not go their way. The streetcar and development folks are loathe to leave ANY decision in the hands of the public.
3. After approving the Foothills Plan, WDW was told to re-write any city codes that would need to be changed to accommodate their project, thus handing the keys to the chicken coop to the fox. That process is going on as I type, and WDW's most recent communication with LO is that they are working on an alternate plan that does not include a streetcar. We'll see about that. 8-story buildings maybe, just to get the project to "pencil out"? That was probably their plan all along because construction costs are very high even with a streetcar as an amenity. The streetcar can help with occupancy, not much with price. With their self-written codes, height will not be an issue, but the anti-streetcar people will be blamed for the horrible buildings, even if they would have happened anyway.
4. The streetcar is not dead. At any time in the future a city council can approve it, and this can be as soon as next Jan. depending on the election in the fall. It will be a tough election fight, but WDW and all the hangers on do not care what is happening to this formerly peaceful, livable community. Once Judie opened the door, the rats rushed in.

Expect more attempts at a streetcar to LO. Expect a SoWhat development in Foothills. Substations will be moved, land in the floodplain will be fiddled with, and the waste water treatment plant will be either moved or "enhanced". Unless the citizens of LO mount a petition drive to change the city charter to require votes on URDs and such, and get control of our city codes again. At least that's my opinion. We still have time to shut this down.
So the ongoing saga of inside deals and manipulation continues into 2012.   This is at the same time that incumbents are claiming that LO politics has become quite nasty because details are being criticized by residents.   The situation has voters irate over wasted expenditures and lack of transparency in LO politics.  Its truly an unfortunate situation which may only be resolved by the 2012 election.  

The link on the post and comments can be found at:   Not Through with LO yet 

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends. 

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