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Votes needed for field construction

by: , This map shows the six portions of land that the city may annex.

Lake Oswego residents are being asked to cast a vote on whether the city should annex six parcels of land at Luscher Farm, essentially to develop them for parks.

The land currently lies just outside city limits and would be used in a proposed redesign of the park, which calls for a new turf field and relocation of a dog park there, along with bathrooms, parking and pathways.

City officials want to annex the land to rezone it so it can be legally developed. Four parcels in the strip are currently owned by the city and are undeveloped, with the exception of a storage building. That section of the land totals 12 acres.

The two northernmost parcels (all are located on Stafford Road immediately north of the current dog park at Luscher Farm) are privately owned and include a house and out-building.

City officials said the 1.81 acres are included in the annexation to make Lake Oswego's boundary consistent with Metro's Urban Growth Boundary, the ring around the tri-county area that nets developable land.

A yes-vote on the annexation could put an end to years of debate over where the city will site a long-awaited turf field.

Bond money to build the field was approved by voters in 2002 but public outcry over placing the field in a neighborhood delayed its field development. City officials have said a public process set the course for fields at Luscher Farm back in 1997, when citizens weighed in on the Luscher Farm Master Plan and called for a sports complex there. City leaders plan to go ahead with planning the field at the farm if voters approve the annexation.

Ballots are due Sept. 19.

The annexation and proposed projects at Luscher Farm are not related to the city's decision to end its relationship with the Community Supported Agriculture program there, which currently occupies 10 acres of agricultural land on the east side of the farm.

The decision to end that program in 2007 will likely pave the way for more fields at Luscher but does not affect the same areas of the park.