Well, maybe not all of it, but we finally have the opportunity to use part of Luscher Farm for the purposes for which it was purchased - active recreation.

On Sept. 19, Lake Oswego voters will decide on a measure authorizing the annexation of six contiguous properties along Stafford Road near the Overlook Drive intersection

The property, 13.8 acres, was brought into the Urban Growth Boundary by Metro recently as a 'minor adjustment' (less than 20 acres). The city of Lake Oswego owns 12 acres that are included in the Luscher Farm Master Plan. The plan indicates that this area would include the development of athletic fields. The voters approved $2 million for artificial turf athletic fields in 2002, but due to a lack of suitable sites, the fields have not yet been built. After an exhaustive study of all the possible school and city properties, we have identified, as the best site, this city-owned property. It is suitable for a regulation field with adequate parking and lights.

The additional 1.8 privately owned acres are being brought in to avoid a 'notch' in the boundary. This annexation is supported by the property owners. It is being zoned low-density residential (R-15) and could be developed with 3 to 5 homes. It abuts residential properties on one side and city properties on the other three sides. An added advantage is that it will provide a sewer easement that could serve the city property with sanitary services.

The ballots are in your hands.

The election is necessary since the voters of Lake Oswego added a provision in the Charter in 1998 to require a citywide vote in order to annex properties in the Stafford area.

The plan for the property will also include a new dog park, which people and dogs have enjoyed at this site, and water and bathroom facilities.

This vote will not increase your taxes.

This vote will not open the 'flood gates' for development in Stafford. This site is primarily city-owned property for a specific use. No use other than 'public parks and recreational facilities' is authorized on this - or any other property in the Stafford area.

The council, on Sept. 5, held hearings and approved a modification to the Comprehensive Plan to allow only this use, and authorized the annexation upon a successful vote of the people.

We urge a yes vote. It is time we start using the property that we have purchased in the Stafford area for parks and recreational uses - along with our open space, farm uses, walking paths and preservation.

Mayor Judie Hammerstad, Council President Lynn Peterson and Councilors Jack Hoffman, Gay Graham, John Turchi, Ellie McPeak and Frank Groznik.

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