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City Council denies neighbors' appeal of Peterkort zoning changes

Despite five hours of testimony that pushed the Tuesday night City Council meeting into Wednesday morning, the council was not swayed by residents' attempts to appeal zoning changes for the undeveloped Peterkort properties near Sunset Transit Center.

The council voted 4-1 to uphold rezoning changes the Planning Commission adopted in December for property annexed into the city from Washington County. Council President Cathy Stanton was the lone dissenter in the vote, cast as the clock struck midnight.

With Mayor Dennis Doyle keeping a close eye on the three-minute timer for each speaker, neighbors voiced concerns that the proposed rezoning would lead to sprawl and over commercialization of the neighborhood, which is bisected by Southwest Barnes Road and west of Cedar Hills Boulevard.

Neighbors implored the council to revisit the proposed changes and incorporate more elements of the 1997 Cedar Hills-Cedar Mill Community Plan.

City officials maintained, however, that the city worked closely with Washington County to preserve existing zoning standards as called for in the Urban Planning Area Agreement between the two entities.

'We were required to provide the most similar land-use zoning' based on factors including 'housing, residential densities and non-residential densities,' said Steve Sparks, principal planner in the city's community and economic development department. 'The county placed significant growth expectations in this area to demonstrate compliance with Metro growth guidelines.'

Metro regional government established growth targets for all jurisdictions in its region.

'The county and city looked at regional centers as areas where we would focus most of this growth,' Sparks continued. 'The county placed a significant portion in this area.'

Sadie McIntyre, a resident of Chemeketa Court, did not agree the city did its best to maintain what she called the county's 'careful' approach to zoning elements. 'The city of Beaverton did not invest similar funds or broadly inclusive tactics to create the newly developed SC-S zoning designation for this property,' she said.

Her comments continued an undercurrent of skepticism that ran through the evening's testimony regarding the Peterkort family's objectives and commitment to neighborliness regarding future development.

'The people have invested tens of millions of federal, state and local tax dollars in the development of the Sunset Transit Center,' McIntyre said. 'In doing so, taxpayers have contributed to the value of the Peterkort property surrounding this station. Taxpayers did not agree to pay for these projects out of the goodness of their hearts. They did so to support the concept of transit-oriented development.'

After the flurry of testimony, which included those supporting the proposed zoning on behalf of the Peterkorts, the county Planning Commission and the city, the council concluded the process had been sufficiently executed.

Residents and the public could address further objections, Councilor Marc San Soucie noted, at later points once actual development plans are introduced.

'I read very carefully all the written material provided to us,' he said. 'I understand there is great passion behind what happens to the Sunset community… The changes proposed by the city are satisfactory and will allow us to do something in conjunction with the property owners that will satisfy the community's aspirations.'



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