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Local voters approve annexation measure

Lake Oswego residents approved an annexation of parkland in an election Tuesday night, paving the way for field development at Luscher Farm.

With approval from voters, the city will annex six parcels just north of Luscher on Stafford Road. Four are owned by the city but lie outside city limits. Two other parcels are privately owned on 1.81 acres. Both, for a total of 13.81 acres, will be annexed now.

City officials sought to annex the land to rezone it, essentially to develop it for parks. In upcoming planning hearings, the land is expected to be redesigned to include a new turf field, dog park, bathrooms, parking and paths.

The affirmative vote by residents potentially puts an end to years of community 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 constructing the field at the farm if voters approve the annexation.

Just more than 7,000 voters turned out to approve the annexation, with 81 percent giving consent for the annexation, or 5,724 people. The remaining 18.29 percent of voters were opposed.