My husband and I have been following with interest the development plans for Lake Grove and are very concerned. We love Lake Oswego/Lake Grove the way it is. We feel that a strong part of what brought us to this community 16 years ago was the small village charm: The meet-and-greet attitude that prevails among the small businesses, stores and shops. We do like (although we weren't sure then) the development in downtown Lake Oswego, and feel that it was an important 'upscale that works' without major disruption to the main roads. It made us look a bit cleaner and more modernized without the pain. However, we feel that Lake Grove has the center of the village-feel that keeps our community solid and as a stop-gap to big urban sprawl. If folks wanted that - they'd live somewhere else. Our thoughts:
n We'd like a full study on impact to small businesses - changing the local small businesses is a mistake and we want to make sure we have access to continue to support the entrepreneurial spirit that has made Portland so great. We have Bridgeport just up the road - let it absorb the extra people - you can see already what a nightmare that turned out to be with parking, etc. It is not an easy place to go and people who live close by have a tendency to shy away from the stress of looking for parking. No one who can avoid it parks in that parking structure that is (so far from some of the stores). Bridgeport is not a study in efficiency and therefore is not successful progress.
n We'd like to see a full study on costs before this is voted. It is critical that residents who are impacted understand why the money was spent.
n A median that blocks us from places we visit daily is a huge cause for alarm. We the residents don't mind a few minutes of pause on Boones Ferry to wave at a neighbor or let a friend cross the street - or even wait for the harried businessman to pull into Starbucks. Those of us who commute outside our community to work, look forward to coming back at the end of the day to buy a few groceries, pick up dry cleaning and generally enjoy the village where we live and shop. Half of my travels within the village of Lake Grove result in me seeing friends and acquaintances that I might never see if the community wasn't open to a relaxing cup of java or a quick run into local shops. A large parking structure is a joke - no one will use it - it's a blight on our community and what is happening at Bridgeport does not need to be 'transported' into our quiet village feel. Don't kid yourselves - this is not an improvement. Nor is more building - let the land go to smaller businesses that want a little 'supportable' structure that holds a medical office, or maybe another small shop - something that enhances our community not overruns it.
As we all know - life has expanded to impact everyone. We grow further and further disconnected from the feel of 'coming home' to a place that is pleasant and unhurried. Beware the developers that do not care about how we feel about our community but need another feather in their caps to stroke their portfolios and add another bundle of money to their bulging bank accounts without caring about the people who live and love this wonderful village.
Mary and Rick Hinthorne are residents of Lake Oswego.