Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Return of Streetcar?

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the city of Portland has published an interactive map of its 20 year comprehensive plan and the transportation elements.  It provides interesting insight into the minds of the Portland Planners.   Much to the chagrin of many in LO one project appears again.  You got it right the Streetcar!  

The map proposes a streetcar line to Johns Landing which we all know is just a phase away from the old Portland to Lake Oswego streetcar proposal that wasted millions in taxpayer dollars.

The latest article on the issue can be found in the Oregonian Streetcars to Johns Landing.  

Many in the community believe that the proposed Wizer development in Lake Oswego is the anchor to justifying light rail to Lake Oswego.    Its clear here in this publication that the Portland planners are certainly looking like that may be the case, despite recent revelations by the city of Portland auditor that streetcar is fraught with problems.  

Here is a quote from the article:

"Streetcar and light rail: The city's map includes three potential streetcar routes headed by the Bureau of Transportation. There's an $80 million extension through Johns Landing, a $70 million extension to Hollywood along Sandy Boulevard and a $65 million extension along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Killingsworth Street. Beyond that, the map still accounts for a $300 million light rail extension to Vancouver, even though the Columbia River Crossing is supposedly dead."

The interactive MAP can be found at : 2035 Plan.  

All of this disclosure is occurring at the same time the community debates the proposed Wizer block development.    Please notify all members, contacts and friends.   

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wizer Block Debate Keeps Churning Out Citizen Discontent.

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the public continued its open debate on the redevelopment of the Wizer Block,   It seems citizens are actively engaged over the historically slow summer period.    The LO Review included many letters describing individual views on the proposed development.  

Its becoming increasingly apparent that the development may play a substantial role in the election this November.    Even local developers are coming out against the project as being too big for the neighborhood and the city.   This article provides some perspective on this trend Shifting Vision. This comes on the heels of an earlier article written by Barry Cain who developed Lake View Village and is now working on the Kruse Village development.    In his article Design a Project That Fits he outlines some concerns about the proposed project.

Its interesting that two developers who have done substantial work in the community are publicly expressing some concerns about the size of the project and its impact on the community and the Village concept.  While these views don't represent all of the community they certainly represent an informed view from those that have actually completed projects which many believe have defined Lake Oswego.  

Several citizen articles discuss concerns about the project:

Parking & Traffic
Values Versus Money
Here We Go

While others refute many of the claims being made:

Big Box Myth
New Beginning?

There are also mixed opinions in Readers Letters.  

So its clear no matter what position the DRC and City Council take they will offend a significant portion of the population in Lake Oswego.    It will be interesting to see the positions of the candidates this fall on the Wizer development as they will have a profound impact on the outcome it now appears.  

While COLA Members strongly support property rights its clear this development has the community deeply engaged and concerned.   Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why Would a City Councilor Need an Attorney at an LO Council Meeting?

To All COLA LO Members,

Last week residents observed a highly unusual event.   One of our city councilors recused themselves from a vote on the TSP and had their attorney testify for them before the city council.    It was a highly uncomfortable and unusual event in Lake Oswego.  

COLA had several board members and members observing the council meeting all of which were surprised by the course of events.    It seems even the City Council isn't informed about how plans may impact their own properties unless staff is repeatedly asked for disclosure!  

 That doesn't hold well for a core COLA issue - Property Rights.   Every citizen should be concerned about this given the situation that took place at last Tuesday's council meeting.  

The details of the issues can be found in another blog:   No One Talks About

Many residents are using this as a classic example of poor management that embarrasses the city and some wonder if it was an intentional lack of disclosure.     Quite a few community leaders have found major issues with the TSP - Transportation Systems Plan being proposed by the planning department.  

Many are wondering how this error and the lack of disclosure could have gotten past the new City Manager Lazenby early in his tenure.    

More to come and the 6/30/14 council meeting can be viewed online at LO Streaming Media.   Look under the TSP Agenda item and public testimony.    

 Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Will Density Be The Issue of the Summer/Fall?

To All COLA LO Members,

The ongoing battle over the Wizer block continues this summer unabated by Lake Oswego's traditional "Summer vacation"  from the issues.   Historically residents have reduce the discourse during the summer on contentious issues in the public forum.   This no longer seems to be the case with the ongoing debate over "high density"  and the Wizer block development.  

Despite being in a city with road construction and new development in all areas citizens continue to vigorous debate the Wizer development.    While the developer Sticks to his vision many residents are either proponents No Armageddon or are vigorously opposing Where's the Beef? the project.

Many are asking why the community continues to debate the issue over the summer and does this portend of a deeply divisive battle in the fall election?   This certainly appears to be the case as three council positions will be up with only one incumbent up for reelection.

 Its notable that only one existing councilor as been reelected in the past two elections (Donna Jordan). While many thought the consternation in the community was over will this issue bring it back?  Time will tell but this certainly has to be on the mind of Councilor Jeff Gudman who is up for reelection in 2014.   It took him four attempts to be elected in 2010.  Will this be the issue that defines a make or break in 2014 only four years after being elected?

Many in the community believe that the discourse and some of the intensity of the debate are due solely to the hired political professionals employed by the developer.  These include both Len Bergstein and Elaine Franklin who were both instrumental in the anti streetcar effort two years ago.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

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