No infighting taking place in Lake Grove
May I take this opportunity to correct statements made in the Review's Oct. 12 article titled, 'New business group cool to village plan.'
The article reported, 'Lake Grove Commercial Association was formed in part to rally businesses against the Lake Grove Village Center plan, which proposes a center median on Boones Ferry Road, one that would prevent left turns into businesses and require road widening, eliminating parking in some spots in favor of public parking lots.' This is a mischaracterization of our position.
Because the Lake Grove Village Center Plan is a major redevelopment plan for Lake Grove that, as designed, will dramatically change the entire Lake Grove community, the Lake Grove Commercial Association formed in November 2005 to 1) inform all property and business owners along Boones Ferry Road from Kruse to Madrona about the specifics of the Lake Grove Village Center Plan and 2) to ask city officials to work in partnership on designing an independently conducted, in-depth economic impact study to perform a thorough cost analysis, which would assess the impacts on existing Lake Grove businesses and neighborhoods before any new plan and road design is approved by city council.
At the first Planning Commission public hearing about the Village Plan on Oct. 9, the Lake Grove Commercial Association's position was represented by land-use attorney Jim Zupancic and urban retail developer Don Singer. Jim explained that we are not necessarily against the Village Plan but that our 64-member association wants to have a seat at the table and be able to work in partnership with the city of Lake Oswego. Don has impressive expertise as a primary developer of Northwest 23rd and downtown Portland projects, appraiser with national firm Integra Realty Resources and consultant to the Portland Development Commission. At the hearing, Don asked Planning Commissioners to consider that there could be unintended consequences of the proposed plan and that potential effects on businesses in Lake Grove should be more comprehensively examined by experts before any plan is approved.
Over the past year the LGCA has communicated with neighborhood citizens, sponsored a petition signed by nearly 2,500 citizens asking for an independent economic impact study, sponsored a meeting with Metro, and conducted a business survey of 100 randomly chosen Lake Grove businesses in which 93 percent of respondents said they, too, want an economic impact study. The LGCA is appreciative of the nearly three years served by citizen volunteers on the advisory committee who formulated the proposed Lake Grove Village Plan. But we also agree with a member of the advisory committee who, at the Oct. 9 public hearing, characterized the members on the committee as 'amateurs' doing their very best but lacking the answers to many questions. This is the same point being made by the LGCA, and also by the nearly 2,500 petitioners.
The Oct. 12 article mentioned 'infighting' within the Lake Grove business district. The 64- member LGCA has not observed that. There may not be perfect agreement between the business representatives on the advisory committee and members of the Lake Grove Commercial Association, but professional differences of opinion do not in our view constitute 'infighting.' All of us want what is best for the entire community and we want to see no valid concerns overlooked.
Janet Amundson is a Portland resident, commercial property owner and president of the Lake Grove Commercial Association.