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Council requires new access for development

Decision will limit traffic through the Sedona Park area

TROUTDALE - Members of the City Council were met with applause Tuesday night when they voted 4-2 in favor of Sedona Park residents fighting a proposed development that would increase traffic through their neighborhood.

Following city and county regulations, plans for the 19-unit Tyson's Place development require access from Edgefield Avenue, which borders the Sedona Park neighborhood and it's 51 homes.

However, a group of concerned Sedona Park residents appealed the planning commission's June 21, decision to allow property owner David Grey to build the condominiums on his 1.5-acre lot.

Although the appeal addressed a number of issues, residents are primarily concerned about an estimated 100 extra vehicle trips a day that the high-density development would bring.

Councilor Dave Ripma motioned to approve the project only if the developer agreed to a new condo layout that creates more of a buffer between the units and the nearest single-family home.

The council also required Grey to only use Edgefield Avenue for emergency access, which means he must find another way into the site.

Troutdale Mayor Paul Thalhofer supported the motion, which he saw as a win for the community's livability. Councilors Rob Canfield and Chris Gorsek voted against it.

Sedona Park residents suggested Southwest 257th Avenue be used as an access to Tyson's Place.

But Multnomah County owns the roadway, and county regulations state that if a property has access from two roads, the local road - in this case Edgefield Avenue - not the major arterial must be used.

County officials also are worried about the safety of allowing access from 257th Avenue because the potential development sits on a blind corner.

'It really feels unsafe to add an access on 257th there,' said Robert Maestre, county deputy director of community services. 'If we could come up with a safe engineered design for this, we would say yes, but it really seems impractical.'

Ed Sullivan, the developer's attorney, urged councilors to vote only on the issue at hand - whether to allow the 19-unit development.

'I understand council's desire to find another way to do this, Sullivan said. 'But we're not dealing tonight with what if. We have an access. The access if lawful, and … was imposed by the city before we bought (the property).'

In an attempt to find a solution that would be suitable to all parties, councilors and residents suggested other access options, including an easement through the Troutdale Terrace Apartments north of the proposed development along 257th Avenue.

However, representatives for the developer said an easement across the property is not possible because they have no legal claim to the land, which is already developed.