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Measure 37 homes move forward in Clackamas County

Developers set to break ground on 'Tumwater at Pete's Mountain' in the summer

The developer of one of the largest Measure 37 projects moving forward in Clackamas County is hoping to break ground on Pete's Mountain by next summer.

Gordon Root Holdings, LLC, and the property owners - Donald Bowerman and W. Leigh and Ceille Campbell - are planning to build a 41-lot subdivision on 63 acres near Pete's Mountain Road and Schaeffer Road.

The group still needs to submit a development application with Clackamas County officials in order to get approval to build. But they recently held neighborhood meetings to share details about their plans with adjoining property owners.

'He's a salesman, he did a good job,' said Elaine Newland, one of the neighbors to the planned subdivision. 'It's going to be a very nice development.'

Still, she said, she has concerns about the project's impact on the mountain's water supply.

And other neighbors have expressed worry over the traffic impact of the new housing, she said.

'Everybody likes life up here. (The subdivision) will be very dense compared to the flavor here,' she said. 'I think Pete's Mountain is going to be really upset.'

Gordon Root, owner of the firm developing the lots, said he and the property owners are aware of potential controversy.

He said that is one reason why they are trying to talk with neighbors now and to address problems early.

'We're really going above and beyond what is required,' Root said, adding that he is conducting a traffic study, an environmental impact study and an arborist report - all things required under today's development code, although legally the property needs to be developed only to 1969 standards.

'We're here to fit into the community and help it maintain its rural feel,' Root said.

The subdivision, as planned for right now, would pencil out to each of the 41 lots being an average of 1.25 acres.

More than five acres of open space and wildlife habitat is factored into the development, as is the preservation of all native trees on the property, Root said.

Each home built will be required to adhere to strict sustainable development standards, he said.

Root declined to give specifics on the price per lot, but he said the homes 'are going to be very spendy houses.'

Twenty-two couples have already reserved lots in the subdivision, which will be called 'Tumwater at Pete's Mountain.'

Root said he and his firm are still in the process of addressing both traffic and water issues that might result from the new homes.

He said solutions will be offered in the development application, which he expects to file with Clackamas County by January.

Only one other Measure 37 project this size is being proposed in Clackamas County, said Jennifer Hughes, the county's senior planner.

That one, another 41-lot subdivision, could be built near Oregon City.

All told, 33 development applications have been filed so far by those who have approved Measure 37 claims.

Most have been for small projects, such as two-lot partitions and lot-line adjustments, Hughes said.