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Bull Mountain ruling delayed

Both the Tigard City Council and a Washington County Circuit Court judge will decide in mid-October

A week that was supposed to see some resolution on Tigard's attempt to annex 41 acres on Bull Mountain before the Nov. 7 election is ending in limbo.

The Tigard City Council on Tuesday, following a public hearing on the annexation of the 34.82-acre Cach Creek Area, voted to continue its decision to Oct. 10.

The area under consideration for annexation was originally 40.93 acres, but before the hearing started, Emily Eng, Tigard assistant planner, told the council that Parkwood Homes was withdrawing its two parcels totaling 6.11 acres from the proposed annexation area.

According to Eng, the owners of 11 parcels originally submitted petitions to be annexed into Tigard instead of becoming part of the city of Bull Mountain if the unincorporated area's residents vote to incorporate in the November election.

The area under consideration for annexation is contiguous to the city on its western boundary, including the Sunrise Lane right of way.

The revised site is predominantly publicly owned and currently contains the Menlor Reservoir and the Cach Creek Natural Area; in the future, an underground reservoir will be added in the area, and a park could be constructed on top of it, according to Eng.

During the public hearing, Kinton Fowler, who lives on unincorporated Bull Mountain, reminded the council that the Washington County Board of Commissioners had set the boundary for the proposed city.

'You can go ahead with this annexation and create bitterness,' he said. 'It will probably go to court and cost the taxpayers money.'

Fowler asked the council to table the issue until after the election so that if the incorporation measure is successful, the two cities could work together on a mutual agreement.

'It would be a good way to start off,' he added.

Lisa Hamilton-Treick, who also lives in the unincorporated area, objected to Tigard's annexation attempt as well.

Her reasons included a lack of consent or petition from the county for including a county road in the annexation, the creation of islands and an irregular boundary, a question about the zoning designation, Tigard's refusal to follow the Bull Mountain Community Plan and Tigard's poor record on Goal 5 resource protection.

'I am requesting we get over this and move on,' Hamilton-Treick said. 'The issue tonight is not about whether you are entitled to this annexation. It's about doing the right thing. It's about respect. Right here and now, you could begin the healing process. Why wait six weeks?

'I'm just asking you to do the right thing . . . Let's work together.'

Layton Walsh, who owns two parcels on Sunrise Lane, told the council that he went from being neutral on the subject of the annexation to being in favor of it.

'Lots of future children would enjoy that park,' he said.

However, Linda Edwards who lives next to the proposed annexation area, told the council that it contains deep woods, blackberries and ravines not appropriate for a park or a parking lot.

'As soon as we (come down) off the hill, everything is bulldozed,' Edwards said, adding that Tigard has not provided enough places for animals and birds. 'Six weeks is a harmless waiting time.'

People may submit written comments for the record until Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Gayle Nachtigal on Monday postponed a ruling on a motion for a preliminary restraining order against the city filed by Fowler, Hamilton-Treick and Richard Franzke.

Lawyers for both sides argued over whether the county or the city was the first to take over jurisdiction of the affected area, while Nachtigal questioned how the proposed annexation would affect the 'purity' of the election process.

'If you're looking for an answer today, you're not going to get one,' she said. 'You're going to get it in mid-October.'