Friday, July 20, 2012

City Council Approves Urban Renewal District in Lake Grove

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the City Council in a 5-2 vote approved an Urban Renewal District in Lake Grove.    Its the culmination of a long process and was a major issue in 2011-2012 budget deliberations.    The area is showing signs of increasing private development with a new senior living facility and reconstruction of the lake grove shopping center.     The new Urban Renewal District will remove some funding for the county, school district, and public safety to pay for redevelopment projects.  

Once again an amendment to put the issue up for a vote by residents was defeated by a 4-3 vote of the council.    Residents will not be allowed to vote on the approval of the urban renewal district or the proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) it will use for renewal.   

Several citizens testified at the hearing including local residents and neighborhood associations.  Two residents were quoted as expressing their concerns about the new URD and the need for a vote of LO residents before approving it.   Details can be found form the LO review.  

Carolyn Krebs of the Lake Forest Neighborhood Association was less confident in the proposal. She said her association opposes formation of an urban renewal district without a citizen vote.
“While it is true tax increment financing doesn’t raise property taxes, it does impact citizens financially by changing what they can expect from city, county and state government,” she said. “Citizens of Lake Oswego should have the right to decide before making this commitment.”
Krebs also noted the Lake Grove plan included a goal calling for public involvement with recommendations of potential funding mechanisms. However, she said, “It appears this public hearing is the only opportunity for any of us to say whether we recommend urban renewal.”
Cheryl Uchida, who, like Krebs, has been involved in Lake Grove planning for years, recently served on a Lake Grove urban renewal focus group for the city. She said she felt “spoon fed” information by consultants pushing the group to rubberstamp the urban renewal plan.

Articles on the decision and the issues can be found at:  council OK's Lake Grove  and Council Approves Urban Renewal District.      No doubt the issue will continue to be in the limelight as the council prepares for a bond measure to help finance the district on the fall ballot.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Real Time Analytics