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Tigard council to go ahead with Bull Mountain annexation

Tigard owns about 18 acres of the land which they have considered using for a reservoir and a park

TIGARD - What should have been a celebrated decision to fulfill a promise of more park lands, said Tigard Mayor Craig Dirksen, has instead been clouded by controversy and contention.

Tuesday night the Tigard City Council voted unanimously to annex 34.82 acres of land into the city.

The area is contiguous to the city's western boundary. The city of Tigard owns about 17.71 acres of the land.

Tigard officials have talked about using the property for an underground reservoir site and a possible park site.

However, the land, known as the Cach Creek Area, actually lies within the proposed boundaries for the proposed city of Bull Mountain.

Three Bull Mountain residents filed for a preliminary restraining order against Tigard to prevent the annexation from occurring before the November election when mountain residents will vote on whether to form their own city or not. But Washington County Circuit Court Judge Gayle Nachtigal postponed a ruling on the matter.

'It was unfortunate that there was controversy regarding (the annexation),' Dirksen said Wednesday morning, 'but the sad part is that this should have been a day for celebration. This was a day when we took a major step toward fulfilling a promise we made to people on Bull Mountain, whether they live in the city of Tigard or out, when we told them years ago we would do what we could to provide a park on Bull Mountain.'

While no Bull Mountain residents attended Tuesday night's meeting, Lisa Hamilton-Treick was positive most of them watched the live broadcast of the vote from their living rooms. The public comment period for the issue closed Oct. 3. Council members heard public comment at the Sept. 26 council meeting.

'I wasn't the least bit surprised by the decision,' Hamilton-Treick said. She was one of the three Bull Mountain residents to file for a restraining order against the city of Tigard.

'The city of Tigard has been very clear about annexing every opportunity they have regardless of the circuit court, regardless of the decision by the county commissioners and regardless of the public comments. It seems to be their theme.'

According to draft minutes from Tuesday's meeting, council members reasoned that land owned by Tigard should be within the Tigard city limits and not within another city's boundaries.

But Councilor Sally Harding admitted during discussion that the city's decision could be 'undone' by a single court ruling, according to the meeting minutes.

Hamilton-Treick said she is waiting to hear the decision from the circuit court regarding the restraining order.