Thursday, January 30, 2014

Preservation Society Will Challenge City Council?

To All COLA LO Members,

This past week the preservation society filed a challenge the City Council's 4-3 decision to allow for the demolition of Carman house.    Its an interesting position given that the council was split on removing the historic landmark designation and allow for development.  

See Society Appeals

This challenge to the council comes at the same time many in the community are irate about the proposed development of the Wizer block.    Many members and community leaders are asking if this council is pro high density development?   Big Crowd   

Only time will tell as theses issues play out but the community is asking itself if it missed something in the 2012 election?    This was supposed to be a council that preserved our "community character" and was opposed to high density development and streetcar projects.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Protests Against High Density Development Have Begun!

To All COLA LO Members,

This week protesters took to the streets in Lake Oswego opposing the current administration's support for the High Density URD financed development on the Wizer Block.   COLA members have noticed the emergence of anti high density lawn signs throughout the city.  

Details can be found in a recent Oregonian Article  Wizer Protests Begin and at the same time a long term community activists group is now opposing the project Time to Reimagine?

It seems the opposition is organizing and letters to the editor against the project seem to be growing and possibly overwhelming supporters. 

Will the council take action or will it continue to fund the development with $6 million in taxpayer funds?   Many in the community are asking this very question.  

Does this Council support the high density vision of the Hoffman administration or is it just being cajoled into a project it does not understand?   Time will tell.

Please notify all members contacts and friends.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Would State Ballot Measure Limit Lake Oswego Fee & Water Rate Increases?

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the Tax Payers Association of Oregon announced it was evaluating an ballot initiative to require a public vote for all tax and fee increases at the local level.    

Its an interesting concept that seems to have some appeal state wide.  

Given the community concern over fee increases and water rate increases would this type of ballot initiative appeal to LO voters?    Could it actually limit rate and fee increases in Lake Oswego?  

Details can be found at Limit Local Tax and Fee Increases?

This would certainly have an impact on both city revenue and also the cost of living in Lake Oswego.  

Many residents on fixed incomes and those that have seen their income reduced by the recession have a concern about the fixed costs of living in Lake Oswego.   This has been mentioned to a number of COLA board members in emails, calls, and in person.  

It will be interesting to see how far this concept goes in terms of any ballot initiative.  

Please notify all members, contacts and friends.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lake to Remain Private According to County Court!

To All COLA LO Members,

This past week the county court issued a ruling allowing the City of Lake Oswego to restrict access to the lake.    This effectively defeats the move toward allowing public access to the lake.

Details can be found in the Oregonian article:   Judge Sides with City on Lake Access.    The details of this ruling are quite unique and clearly outline the courts logic in terms of the court requiring the state to take action which may impose restrictions on upland property owners.    Details can be found in Court Ruling.  The judge seems to say that only the legislature can force the State to take further action.

Is this a setback for those who demand public access to the Lake?   Only time will tell but it appears an appeal may be in the making.  It will be interesting to see how the Lake Corp responds to the ruling and any appeal that may be filed by the plaintiffs.

At the same time many in the community are wondering where is the progress on "Sensitive Lands"  that was promised by the current administration?    It now appears "property rights" will continue to be an issue in Lake Oswego in 2014 and likely well beyond.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Is the Council Considering Leaving Tri-Met to Improve Service?

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the background discussion that was mentioned last Summer about the hiring of a new city manager finally became public.    The LO City manager was recognized for leaving Tri-Met while city manager in Sandy.   This was a discussion amongst many in the community and several COLA members.

 Many wondered if the new city manager would propose the same action upon employment in LO.   Many citizens are very unhappy with the lack of service to the west side of Lake Oswego despite the high payroll taxes paid by employers.

It is often recognized that citizens cannot attend meetings using Tri Met when they are held at the WEB in the evening.    This is due to no local service in the alter evening.

Today in the Oregonian the issue came to light.   Should LO leave Tri-Met?

Is the new City Manager really planning to reduce payroll taxes on local businesses and provide better service to the community?  While he denies it many wonder why not? 

Why wouldn't the city consider this action to boost employment and reduce the burden on local residents and businesses?

Its a question that has been out there since the initial hiring and now after six months on the job its come to light. 

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Portland Considering Giving Oversight on Water Rates to Independent Board - Will Lake Oswego Follow?

To All COLA LO Members,

Today its been reported in the Oregonian that Portland's City Council is considering giving oversight of water and sewer rates to an independent board.   

Details can be found at the following:   Independent Oversight of Water Rates?

Will the Lake Oswego City Council consider a similar initiative in 2014?   Will water rates continue to increase beyond the incomes of many residents?   Its a question for the Council Town Hall next week.   

Many citizens continue to wonder how much they can afford the ongoing increases and issues surrounding LO- Tigard Water Project.   Recent disclosures about drilling costs and direction of the pipelines continue to worry many residents.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.   
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