Citizens’ Measure 3-568

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Vote YES on Citizen-initiated Measure 3-568 and Vote NO on City Council's Measure 3-575
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In December 2019, Lake Oswego citizens began circulating citizen initiative petition, 2020IN-1, to protect our natural parks from future City development. For the past 18-months, over 100 residents have volunteered thousands of hours and donated to our efforts to inform and educate the Lake Oswego community about the protections we seek for these natural areas. Citizen initiative petitions for local elections must collect signatures from at least 15% of the City’s registered voters to qualify for the ballot. We needed 4,365 signatures and have collected over 4,800 and signed petitions continue to come in the mail.

On June 23, 2021, Clackamas County Elections certified 4,433 Lake Oswego registered voters signatures thereby qualifying our citizen initiative petition 2020IN-1 for the November 2021 ballot. Our Citizens’ Measure 3-568 amends the Lake Oswego City Charter’s Chapter X – Park Development Limitation to protect Springbrook Park and 15 additional natural parks with additional development limitations to preserve them as natural habitats accessible for public enjoyment.

Citizens are pursuing protections due to their frustration with repeated City attempts to develop and/or encroach upon one or more of our natural parks (Springbrook Park, Bryant Woods, Woodmont Park, Cooks Butte amongst others) and a tedious public process that minimizes citizens involvement and voice. One recent example: Cooks Butte was deeded to the City in 1975 by the Emery family for the purposes of remaining a natural habitat. The City has pursued development a top Cooks Butte 3 times (1994, 2002, and 2019) for a major telecommunications facility. Citizens strongly opposed each attempt and with the Emery family’s assistance, development was prevented and this natural habitat untouched (for now).

The current Chapter X – Park Development Limitation was placed on the ballot by citizen initiative and ratified in 1978 to “preserve Springbrook Park as a natural area” and prevent the City from developing it into a major athletic facility.

Chapter X, which currently only applies to Springbrook Park:

  • Prohibits athletic facilities, parking lots, and roads or trails for motorized vehicles.
  • Allows trails for hiking, jogging, horseback, and bicycle riding.
  • Allows picnic and sanitary facilities.
  • Allows for restrictions to apply to any park property acquired by bond and designated by voters as subject to these restrictions.

A YES vote on Measure 3-568 would maintain (black text) and enhances (blue text) Chapter X’s development limitations:

  • Designates these natural parks as “Nature Preserves:” Bryant Woods Park, Canal Acres, Cooks Butte Park, Cornell Natural Area, Glenmorrie Greenway, Hallinan Woods, Iron Mountain Park, Kerr Open Space, Lamont Springs Natural Area, River Run, South Shore Natural Area, Springbrook Park, Stevens Homestead, Stevens Meadows, West Waluga Park, and Woodmont Natural Park.
  • Prohibits athletic facilities, parking lots, and roads or trails for motorized vehicles.
  • Prohibits telecommunications facilities, asphalt and concrete hard-surface trails, and above-ground facilities or structures that would impair or be inconsistent with natural conditions.
  • Prohibits tree cutting for purposes of commercial logging.
  • Allows trails for hiking, jogging, horseback, and bicycle riding.
  • Allows picnic and sanitary facilities
  • Allows benches, boardwalks, and interpretive displays.
  • Allows maintenance for ecological restoration that provides safe and healthy natural areas that are accessible for public enjoyment, provides a healthy habitat for wildlife, eliminates invasive species, restores native species, and mitigates fire hazards.
  • Allows maintenance of existing facilities, structures, parking lots, roads or trails for motorized vehicle if not altered in any manner that would further impair or be inconsistent with natural conditions.
  • Allows implementation of pre-existing park-specific master plans adopted prior to November 3, 2021 that may specify development that would otherwise be restricted by this Chapter.
  • Allows for restrictions to apply to any park property acquired by bond and designated by voters as subject to these restrictions or if designated as a “Nature Preserve” by the conveying property owners, the City, or voters.

Any new master plan for parks designated as “Nature Preserves” must be consistent with the charter amendment.

Our Citizens’ Measure allows natural park trail construction using ADA compliant materials, such as tightly-packed decomposed granite (or other suitable material), and boardwalks that are more compatible in natural areas and used broadly in national, state, and city wilderness areas and natural parks across the country.

Our Citizens’ Measure DOES NOT impose any additional taxes.

After citizens filed this initiative with 4,433 qualifying signatures for the ballot, the Lake Oswego City Council referred a competing measure to the ballot.  While the City’s measure lists many of the same parks for designation as “nature areas” within 60 days of ratification, it would allow the City to partition those parks into “natural areas” and areas subject to development.  The City’s referendum would also allow development of parking lots, roads, and other facilities or structures, including the removal of park trees for this development, through the City’s public master planning process.

For Measure 3-568 to become law, Measure 3-568 must receive a majority vote and more YES votes than Lake Oswego City Council’s competing Measure 3-575.  

Our Citizens Measure 3-568‘s ballot title will be:

CAPTION: Restricts improvements on certain Lake Oswego park properties

QUESTION: Should the Lake Oswego City Charter be amended to restrict improvements on certain city park properties?

Measure 3-568‘s ballot title was assigned by the City Attorney when our citizens initiative petition was approved for circulation in December 2019 and cannot, unfortunately, be changed. We believe it was written intentionally to stall our petition signature collection efforts and to confuse Lake Oswego voters. Citizens have not been confused.

You can learn more about Measure 3-568 at:

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