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Bull Mountain residents fight annexation bid

An injunction, filed in circuit court, says the annexation proceedings will confuse voters on Nov. 7 when they vote on Bull Mountain incorporation

TIGARD - Bull Mountain residents running a campaign to incorporate a new city on the mountain are using the Washington County courts to try and stop Tigard's annexation proceedings on about 41 acres of land in the proposed city's boundaries.

The request for an injunction was filed last week in the county's circuit court. The city hasn't responded yet, and a date for arguments before a judge has not been set.

The plantiffs, Lisa Hamilton-Treick, Kinton Fowler and Richard Franzke, are all directors of the political action committee Bull Mountain Residents for Incorporation. Hamilton-Treick and Fowler are also candidates for the proposed Bull Mountain city council.

The residents allege that Tigard city officials have no jurisdiction to annex the land, 12 parcels adjoining and west of Sunrise Land and north of Bull Mountain Road.

They are also worried Tigard's annexation proceedings will confuse voters on Nov. 7 when they go to the polls to decide the fate of the mountain.

'If this occurs, the damage will occur principally on election day itself and too late to respond to it,' their complaint says.

Tigard City officials contend, however, that they have a right to annex the property, the majority of which the city owns. Several other property owners have also consented to be annexed along with the city's property.

John Dyer, one of those property owners and a Lake Oswego resident, said he was worried about the incorporation campaign.

'(Bull Mountain residents) have to go through the process to become a city,' Dyer said. 'It will take them a long time to get up and running, and there's virtually nothing a builder could do. Tigard is up and running.'

The city tried initially to persuade the Board of Washington County Commissioners, who approved the boundaries included on the November general election ballot, to remove the city of Tigard's land from the residents' proposal for a Bull Mountain city. Only two of the five commissioners - including Roy Rogers, who represents both Tigard and Bull Mountain - agreed with any part of the city's request.

Craig Dirksen, Tigard's mayor, said he and other city officials were unhappy with the commissioners' positions. They began annexing proceedings on the 41 acres the day before the commissioners' vote, and they have scheduled a public hearing on the annexation Sept. 26.

'It's unfortunate the commissioners chose to make this decision,' Dirksen said. Now, 'it'll be up to the courts to decide.'

Barbara Sherman contributed to this story.