FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon – November 6, 2019 – Save Cooks Butte announced two major developments at our Protect LO Natural Parks Open House at the Lake Theater Tuesday night. We proudly announced that the Emery family has formally rescinded their 2017 consents to install a telecommunication tower at Cooks Butte Natural Park. We also unveiled our “Marjorie and John Emery Natural Park Protection Initiative” to protect all of Lake Oswego’s natural area parks through a City Charter amendment.
Our grassroots movement learned of the rescissions just moments before kicking-off our Protect LO Natural Parks Open House at the Lake Theater. “I was amazed and relieved at the same time. I wanted to go out and shout to the world that ‘Wow, the hard grassroots effort of this community that has has really paid off,'” Handley said. “It’s helped the Emerys’ reaffirm the values they and their parents wanted for this place.”
These rescissions are the direct result of facts gathered by this grassroots effort over the past 8 weeks since we learned of this major development and published to our website to inform the community. We were thrilled Les Emery and other Emery family members joined us for this major community interest event. Les humbly accepted a request to speak. He delivered a moving speech on what the land meant to his parents – Marjorie and John – and encouraged the community to continue their efforts to codify legal protections and stewardship for these precious natural areas in Lake Oswego.
Les’ impromptu speech was a beautiful lead in to our second announcement of the evening — our grassroots, community-driven ballot initiative. The prospective initiative is a direct response to the City failing for decades to introduce protections for these natural areas. “The City has had ample time to enact actions documented in their own adopted Parks and Recreation plans,” stated Handley. “It is time the community shows the courage and leadership to take action to protect these precious natural areas,” he continued.
“We are proposing to amend the City Charter so that sensible development limitations are written into the City’s “constitution” declaring what’s allowed and what’s prohibited within a natural area,” Handley said. The Lake Oswego community paved the path for such an initiative in 1978 to protect the Springbrook Natural Park from being developed into a significant athletic facility. The Lake Oswego community voted overwhelmingly, 3-1, to institute a City Charter amendment, Chapter X – Park Development Limitation, to protect Springbrook as an undeveloped natural area. Recently, Chapter X protected Springbrook, once again, when the City desired a major expansion to the Tennis Center adjacent to Springbrook. Springbrook Park is the ONLY natural area with Charter protection.
The petition for this prospective ballot initiative is anticipated to launch later this month. To qualify for the May 2020 ballot, the petition would need signatures from 15% of Lake Oswego’s registered voter community by January 31, 2020; however, citizen initiative petition’s have 24 months from their filing date to qualify for an election. Residents who signed the Save Cooks Butte petition must sign this new, official City-certified petition. If you’re undecided, you should sign the petition. Your signature simply suggests that the community has the right to decide and vote on protecting Lakes Oswego’s natural areas for generations to enjoy come May.
The community can keep informed on important updates by signing up at http://LoveLOParks.org . To support this grassroots effort, a petition committee has been established to accept donations:
Save Cooks Butte is a coalition of Lake Oswego residents who are concerned about our natural parks. They are working to inform the Lake Oswego community about the City’s practices and procedures with Clackamas 800 Radio Group to place a telecommunication tower in Cooks Butte natural park. This coalition opposes development in Lake Oswego’s natural parks. To date, the coalition has secured over 900 petition signatures from Lake Oswego residents in opposition to a telecommunication tower in Cooks Butte natural park.