Its time to speak up about the Lake Grove village plan


Four days from now, on Monday, Oct. 9, the city's planning commission will hear public testimony on the Lake Grove Village Center Plan before deciding whether to recommend its adoption to the city council. The plan, three years in the making, was unveiled at last week's Open House. If you have an opinion on the plan, the time to express it for the record is at Monday's hearing at (Lake Oswego) City Hall, 380 A Ave., at 6 p.m. You may offer oral testimony of 3 minutes or submit written testimony. Alternatively, you may e-mail your testimony directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., including your name and address.

Some aspects of the plan to consider are:

The Costs:

The plan has an open-ended price tag. The advisory committee was given no budget to work within and no cost estimate has been done. Why has there been no attempt to put a cost on this?

What funding mechanisms will be used and who will assume the risks?

Do we want this non-essential project at a time when we are facing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new debt for essential projects such as the sewer system repairs and the storm water improvements?

The Impacts on Local Business:

To encourage density, the plan calls for extensive, complex code and zone changes. Redevelopment will increase the tax base, but eliminate some of the existing small businesses. Put yourself in the position of a small business owner.

Should an independent economic impact study be done before the plan is approved by the city council?

The possibility of property condemnation exists in order to fulfill the plan's requirement for parking lots or structures. Be thankful if it's not your livelihood that could be destroyed.

Business owners along Boones Ferry were not brought into the process early enough and many do not endorse the plan.

The Design:

Metro, in its infinite wisdom identified Boones Ferry as a main street in 2000. Now it's changed to a Town Center, which has an even higher population density. Zoning changes would allow buildings four stories in height and be built to the sidewalk, with provision to allow buildings to exceed 45 feet. Can you envision that?

Do you like this population density-promoting mixed-use concept (business below affordable housing)?

How might aspects of the design such as the proposed 10-foot center median on Boones Ferry Road, which will prohibit mid-block left-turns into businesses, affect business, citizen safety and shopping patterns?

Because of space constraints, turning lanes were purposely designed too narrow for some vehicles, forcing delivery and some other vehicles to cut through adjacent neighborhoods. Is this acceptable?

Do citizens who commute on Boones Ferry want street design to slow traffic flow?

The plan calls for increasing business and residential tenancy on Boones Ferry. Will proposed parking changes adequately serve the increased demand?

How might the proposed parking changes affect property owners and citizens' shopping habits?

The Process:

The planning commission has made an arbitrary decision to reduce the time allowed for speaking from five minutes to three for this public hearing. Can you adequately express your point of view in three minutes?

The city has no authority to make significant road improvements to a main street without a public vote. The city charter requires it.

What changes would you like to see in the Lake Grove community? What are your concerns? Come and be heard on Oct 9. The time to speak up is now!

In the meantime, I look forward to winter for the periodic geyser of thousands of gallons of sewage that spew out of the manhole cover in front of my house. I realize fixing sewers is not as glamorous as working on new pretty parks or 'Village Centers,' but the city officials need to get their priorities straight.

John Kuran is a resident of Lake Oswego.