LoveLOParks Petitions Circuit Court to Review City of Lake Oswego’s Ballot Title


LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon – August 13, 2021 – On behalf of LoveLOParks, Scott Handley filed a petition with the Clackamas County Circuit Court to review the City of Lake Oswego’s Ballot Title and Explanatory Statement for the City-referred measure competing against citizen-initiated Measure 3-568.

On August 4, 2021, a Ballot Title prepared by the City Attorney on behalf of Lake Oswego City Council was filed with the Lake Oswego Elections Officer after citizen-initiative petition 2020IN-1 qualified for the ballot (Measure 3-568). Per Oregon statute ORS 250.296, any registered voter may file a petition for review of the Ballot Title with the Clackamas County Circuit Court within 7 business days.

“We’re petitioning the circuit court today because we don’t believe the City’s Ballot Title and Explanatory Statement meet the statutory requirements for a fair, impartial, and understandable explanation of the measure and its effects on our natural parks,” stated Chief Petitioner Scott Handley. “Lake Oswego voters will have no idea ‘how’ the city is protecting ‘what’ natural areas, plain and simple. The City’s text is clearly biased, politically motivated, and purposefully sloganeering to mislead voters.”

While the City-referred measure, Ballot Title, and Explanatory Statement are full of nice-sounding descriptive words for protecting “nature areas,” including inaccurately renaming Chapter X to falsely emphasize preservation, the purpose of the City’s proposal is similar to the citizen-initiative Measure 3-568. Furthermore, the City-referred measure emphasizes “allows access to nature;” this suggests that current law does not permit such access. Undoubtedly, this is not the case nor the intent of the City’s-referred measure.

Both measures share similar goals: they seek to limit development of city-owned natural parks to protect and preserve them for public enjoyment. However, there are stark differences in limitations and approaches. The City-referred measure’s Ballot Title and Explanatory Statement fail to identify the actual changes to the current law. The legal changes proposed will:

  • define, at a later date, the natural parks and their acreage and boundaries, including “natural” and developable areas by ordinance
  • eliminate certain existing protections from Springbrook Park
  • redefine telecommunications facility that may allow for certain towers
  • allow development of “other uses and facilities” following the City’s current park planning process and ordinances

“Lake Oswego voters deserve clear and factual information about the City-referred measure and its effects to be able to make an informed decision between our Measure 3-568 and the City’s this November,” Handley concludes.

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LoveLOParks 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 maintenance to preserve them as vibrant and healthy natural habitats for residents, visitors, and future generations to enjoy.