Residents all across Lake Oswego in every neighborhood are starting to learn of City Council’s actions leading to LU 23-0002 and their blatant disregard for the voters’ will on election night. Residents are responding sternly for the City to abide by our City’s Charter and the voters clear intent and mandate to prevent development in our Nature Preserves that is inconsistent with preserving them as nature areas, we are encouraging everyone to inform their fellow neighbors of this unlawful act.
In just the last few days, over 30 residents have already submitted testimony opposing LU 23-0002 on the grounds that Chapter X prohibits development in our Nature Preserves. Here are some of the words fellow neighbors are adding to their LU 23-0002 opposition testimony to stop the unlawful act proposed by LU 23-0002 at Waluga Park – West:
“I am opposed to the installation of a sewer line through Waluga Park West due to unavoidable negative impacts that the construction project will have on these sensitive public lands, not to mention the removal of so many trees. This development project should be rejected so residents of Lake Oswego can be confident that their voices are being heard when these types of issues are voted on and approved by voters. I believe the City of Lake Oswego is ignoring the will of the people to appease developers.” –
“I am opposed to LU 23-0002 because it is in violation of measure 3-568. The city of Lake Oswego and DRC are not respecting the wishes of citizens who voted to pass this measure. It is clearly stated within This measure that parks will be protected from any development. Installing a sewer line will be incredibly disruptive to the pristine natural area…disrupting one section will have detrimental impact on the surrounding area, as will removing 43 trees. It is frustrating to see that our city leaser continue to ignore citizen input in favor of development. Through the world, cities are undertaking efforts to maintain and expand natural areas. Here in Lake Oswego, the legacy our city leadership will be a failure to do anything meaningful to protect the natural beauty of Lake Oswego.” –
“I am disillusioned and astonished that City is in the process of approving LU 23-0002. Walluga Park-West is a protected Nature Preserve under Measure 3-568. The Measure was a citizen’s initiative that passed by a majority vote and, as a result, it became law on 11/2/2021. The Measure expanded upon “Chapter X -Park Development Limitation” and it outlines limitations on the development of fifteen nature parks. It is the City’s responsibility to enforce Chapter X because it is in the City’s Charter and the Charter is its constitution.
The first limitation of Chapter X states that “The City of Lake Oswego shall insure that all development within a Nature Preserve is consistent with the preservation of a Nature Preserve as a natural area available for public enjoyment.” It is obvious to anyone that building a sewer line and destroying 43 trees does NOT qualify as the preservation of a Nature Preserve.
An additional prohibited activity is to “construct or develop (or allow any person to construct or develop) any facility or any structure above ground that would impair or be inconsistent with the natural conditions of a Nature Preserve”. The construction of a sewer line, that requires disruption of the surface and the removal of 43 trees, impairs and is 100% inconsistent with the natural conditions of a Nature Preserve.
I would also like to remind everyone and to emphasize that “The Purpose of the Lake Oswego Tree Code (see Chapter 55 – “55 .02.010 Purpose”) is to “… prescribe preventative protection measures to avoid damage to trees during site development in order to preserve the wooded character of the City of Lake Oswego and to protect trees as a natural resource …”. In the case of LU 23-0002, alternative solutions have not been fully presented to the public but the City has the right and the responsibility to require the Applicant to do so. ” –Bryant Neighborhood
“I strongly oppose LU 23-0002 and request the DRC reject LU 23-0002 on the premise the sewer line through Waluga Park – West violates the voter-approved Nature Preserve land use regulations expressed in the City Charter: Chapter X – Park Development Limitation.
I reached out to my neighbors to get Measure 3-568 placed on the 2021 ballot.
The City must pursue other alternatives, presuming that they work to respect the voice of the voters and the intent of Chapter X of the City Code.” –Forest Highlands Neighborhood
“I voted for the bond measure and I am confused as to why the city would ignore a binding law enacted by its own citizens! Our protected green spaces are an important part of what makes Lake Oswego a special place to live. Why does the city favor developers, time and time again, over tax paying residents? ” –Palisades Neighborhood
“Furthermore, it is unclear how the city will continue to maintain this sewer line with no permanent access road through the wetland. This puts the wetlands at risk in the future for any maintenance or repair work that will have to occur.” –Rosewood Neighborhood
“Lake Oswego citizens are tired of having their wishes ignored and developers favored at every turn. West Waluga Park is a sanctuary and should be maintained as such in keeping with the stated preference of Lake Oswego voters. Do the right thing. Preserve our natural spaces and put the pressure on developers to find a better way.” –Westlake Neighborhood
“I am contacting you directly to share my concerns about issues related to next Monday’s DRC hearing on LU 23-0002. The city is requiring the applicant to construct a sewer line all the way through the West Waluga Park wetland in apparent violation of the City Charters Chapter X protection. The city attorney has opined that the City Charter is not applicable to the city’s requirement. Furthermore, the city scheduled the DRC appeal hearing during the Thanksgiving holiday week before the appeal was even filed. This has the obvious appearance of attempting to limit public participation.
I know that some of you were not happy with the passage of Ballot Measure 3-568. Nonetheless it was supported by 62% of the electorate. The city’s position on LU 23-0002 seems like an attempt to undermine the clear intent of Lake Oswego voters in the November 2021 election. I believe that city staffs attempt to ignore Chapter X’s intent or legally parse it’s language will only lead to serious conflict in the community. Our voters who supported the Chapter X environmental protections simply will not accept that those protections allow a sewer to be trenched through West Waluga Park.
My request to you is to cancel or postpone Mondays DRC hearing and avoid the immediate looming controversy that I feel will result. Take the time to look at alternatives to the proposed route through West Waluga. LU 23-0002 will be a precedent setting decision that could expose many other protected natural areas to this kind of environmental destruction. I strongly believe that Lake Oswego residents deserve to have a voice and a discussion with the city before such a decision is made.
Thank you for considering my request. In these times it seems like we can always find legal interpretations to justify our actions. Sometimes leaders have to decide to just do the right thing. This truly feels like one of those moments.” –First Addition Neighborhood
“I am dismayed that Lake Oswego City staff and City Council would blatantly make decisions that disregard and ignore the votes of citizens. It appears that the City government is favoring developers’ interests rather than representing those who live, work, and vote in Lake Oswego. I worry that a precedent will be set for continued disregard of citizens’ expressed interests.
West Waluga Park currently provides numerous habitat and ecological benefits. Natural areas also contribute well-documented psychological and emotional benefits.” –Palisades Neighborhood
“I was very surprised and extremely disappointed to learn that the City Council voted in favor of measure LU 23-0002, which will allow a developer to use the back part of Waluga West Park in order to connect a proposed development to connect to city sewer services.
Proposal LU 23-0002 will certainly damage existing habitat, and the removal of 43 trees in that area is a travesty.
The citizens of Lake Oswego voted overwhelmingly for Measure 3-568 to prevent all development that is inconsistent with the preservation of Lake Oswego’s Nature Preserves as natural areas.
Perhaps the City Council didn’t realize how strongly the Lake Oswego residents felt about preserving these natural areas. It’s not a real good idea to go against the will of the people.
It should be obvious that constructing a 17′ wide x 525′ long road, the removal of trees, and the disturbance to the designated wetlands in Waluga Park – West to facilitate trenching and installation of a sewer line for a private developer is not, in any way, what the majority of Lake Oswego voters want to see happen.
I certainly hope that the Development Review Commission and the City Council will reverse the recent LU 23-0002 decision. ” –Westridge Neighborhood
“As a voter in the City of Lake Oswego, I request that you cancel the DRC meeting scheduled for Monday, November 20th. Waluga Park is a voter protected park, and the public has not been informed by the City of their encroachment plans. The City has failed from the start to mention and disclose this infraction to the voters for over 2 years. Voters should be able to expect the City to act with integrity, transparency, and honor; which they clearly have not.” –Palisades Neighborhood
“We live in an area of growing public mistrust in government institutions. The council’s disregard for Measure 3-568 creates a public perception that the city government doesn’t respect the will of the citizenry. It creates the impression that the council respects elections only if they agree with the results and otherwise ignores and denies them. This attitude is undemocratic and further erodes trust and confidence in city government—which seems bent on ignoring the values of the majority of its voters. When will you finally get this message and start to reflect the values of conservation and preservation that all of us who voted for Measure 3-568 hold dear? Why won’t you represent us faithfully by helping to protect our nature preserves rather than fighting us at every single turn?” –Palisades Neighborhood
“ADDENDUM – is the city aware there is an available sewer tap only 120′ (1 property) next to the proposed 5 lots? Absurd to approve the developer to cause such destruction in the protected wetland when this is available. Also – this wetland has 6″ or more water standing year round – how exactly has the city determined it is even engineering feasible to go in for almost two footbal lengths at 17′ wide in a marsh? What would even be required to support the heavy vehicles? This makes no sense.” –Lake Forest Neighborhood
“It is clear that the veracity of the city elected officials and their paid staff is questionable at best. Just 2 years ago the city sent the Lake Forest residents, which mostly cannot even vote for city elected officials, a letter stating that they were no longer going to do partial annexations yet now the city is doing just that. The mayor and city councilors (and their paid planning department) are in an all fired hurry to accommodate private developers in their hast to destroy the livability of the Lake Forest neighborhood so they can pat themselves on the back for meeting “their” housing goals. What a bunch of low lifes.” –Neighborhood
“Lake Oswego Planning Department and City Government,
Testimony for: Ordinance 2874 Legal Restrictions and LU 23-0002 Statement in Opposition
The Stafford-Tualatin Valley Community Planning Organization Members supported the LoveLOParks, Lake Oswego Citizens Measure 3-568 and continue to support their opposition to city approval of development methods in LU 23-0002 at the Waluga Park Nature Preserve.
Lake Oswego needs a City Government that will listen to its citizens as well as the surrounding communities impacted by decisions issued by its leadership.
Include these comments in the final record for Ordinance 2874.” –Stafford-Tualatin Valley CPO
“It is very disheartening after working so hard to educate the community and get fellow neighbors to vote on Measure 3-568, the city would so clearly violate it. The city must pursue other alternatives.” –Westridge Neighborhood
“I challenge every single one of you who either hold a position of government or pull a paycheck on our tax dollar payroll to stay quiet on all of the decisions surrounding this city if you are not a resident. I am not making rules in your town, don’t make them in mine.” –Palisades Neighborhood
“If for no other reason other than showing respect to the citizens of Lake Oswego, the City government should not pursue this development. But there are ample legal and moral reasons to not fly in the face of the citizens in support of a private developer. See below…” –Forest Highlands Neighborhood
“Seriously? Dear government employees, please stop jerking your constituents around. Just because your measure failed doesn’t mean you can ignore the one that did pass. What you can do is either find an alternate solution to this issue, or deny the project. Those are your options…
“Thank you for your consideration” is a nicer closing than I would choose, especially if Mr. Rapf is involved, but my peers in Love LO Parks are better people than me, so I’ll leave it.” –First Addition Neighborhood
“The arrogance underlying the suggestion that citizens resort to litigation to compel the city to follow the law is breathtaking. We should accept that challenge if it becomes necessary and include a demand that the city pay the resulting legal fees if the challenge is successful. The litigation suggestion would not have been made if those behind it risked having to bear the litigation costs themselves, personally, instead of being able to expend taxpayer money for their blatantly illegal and irresponsible frolic. Furthermore, if they are relying on advice from the city attorney, their advisor should be answerable for malpractice.” –Bryant Neighborhood
“Holy f*ck this is outrageous! Anti-DEMOCRATIC” –Palisades Neighborhood
“Please do not take away the natural beauty of West Waluga park by developing it. This park should be saved for generations to come and that is why L.O. residents.voted to protect our parks from future development. You are destroying the very places that make our city desirable! This is all to build more enormous houses that could be built elsewhere. Please don’t betray “us” voters by not upholding our wishes for some preservation. ” –Sincerely, Long time L.O. resident and taxpayer
“Thanks for being vigilant with regard to code violations. ” —Forest Highlands Neighborhood