LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon – November 14, 2019 – Love Lake Oswego Parks Committee is pleased to announce that Lake Oswego’s Elections Officer, Ann-Marie Simpson, has confirmed that our Prospective Petition for a Local Initiative, 2020IN-1, meets the requirements of Section 1(2)(d) and (5), Article IV of the Oregon State Constitution.
“While speaking with neighbors all across Lake Oswego regarding the threat of a major telecommunications facility at Cooks Butte, the third time in three decades, they expressed their frustrations with the imbalance between the City’s development appetite and protecting our City’s natural environment,” stated Scott Handley, Chief Petitioner. “They were genuinely concerned the City might attempt to develop their neighborhood natural park in the future. It was that consistent and common concern that sparked our commitment to find a legal solution that reflects our community’s values to protect these natural habitats.”
While speaking with neighbors in the Uplands neighborhood about the Save Cooks Butte effort, Mr. Handley and others learned Lake Oswego citizens had saved Springbrook Park in 1978 from being developed into a significant athletic facility. Citizens qualified a measure for the ballot asking voters to amend the City Charter to limit development in Springbrook Park. By nearly a 3-1 vote, citizens enacted Chapter X – Park Development Limitation thereby preserving Springbrook Park as a natural area; For over 40 years, Springbrook Park has been the only natural park with City Charter protection.
With the path paved by Springbrook Park, the Save Cooks Butte coalition began a parallel effort to improve upon Chapter X with outreach efforts throughout the community to identify natural parks and development limitations to include. The results were debuted on November 6, 2019, at the Lake Theater where the public was invited to learn about efforts to Save Cooks Butte and learn about a draft proposal to Protect Our Natural Parks with a Charter amendment seeking legal protections that limited development that was inconsistent with maintaining 15 natural parks as natural habitats. The event was a huge success with several hundred participants listening and providing feedback.
Following the Lake Theater event, the proposed Charter amendment was reviewed with the Lake Oswego Director of Parks and Recreation, Ivan Anderholm, where additional natural parks and other reasonable revisions were included into the text. After final review with a land use attorney, a Prospective Petition for a Local Initiative was filed with the City Elections Officer on November 11, 2019.
Love LO Parks is a Lake Oswego grassroots citizen coalition seeking to influence Lake Oswego’s city policy and regulations to legally and permanently protect our natural parks from future development while advocating for their maintenance to preserve them as vibrant and healthy natural habitats for residents, visitors, and future generations to enjoy.