Tree removal causes concerns
- Gene S. Park
- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
I am a long-time resident of our city, and I am writing to express my concern about the continued removal of trees in the Lake Grove neighborhood. The Matrix development of the Trillium Woods on Oakridge and Quarry has removed approximately 150 trees and now they want to remove 39 more so that they can build two more condominiums. The bogus excuse proffered by Matrix is based on an erroneous premise of drainage problems. The tree removal will allow an additional 2 condominiums for a total of 34
Matrix submitted a site plan using an outdated tree survey that also had not been signed by the surveyor. There was no signature on the surveyor's seal. In the time that elapsed when the survey was done and then submitted, many of the trees on the site had grown to a size where they would be included in a current survey. City officials accepted the survey without verifying its validity or if it was a current. This was brought to the attention of Stephan Lashbrook, community development director, who then advised the developer that they were not authorized to do anything to those trees missed in the survey and that they must provide protection for those trees. Matrix was instructed that they must submit a modification to the approved plan before they can go forward.
Mr. Lashbrook stated that this had caused the city to re-evaluate city's requirements for tree inventories including dates of preparation and qualifications of the individuals preparing them.
However, the repair of the wear and tear of the roads and services by the additional number of vehicles that will result from the large influx of new residents will have to be done by the city after the developer has finished the construction. Guess who gets to pays for repairs-the tax payers.
Recent windstorms have demonstrated the dangers of removing too many trees by destroying natural wind barriers that large groves provide. At this rate of tree loss, there will be no trees left for future generations to enjoy. There has been a heavy loss of flora and fauna that cannot be replaced.
Matrix forced their foot in the door to develop Trillium Woods against the wishes of the Waluga Neighborhood Association and the city planners turned a deaf ear to the neighbors' concerns. Apparently all they could see was the potential tax revenue. The city refused to purchase the land so that it could be incorporated into the adjacent Waluga Park, although the city had $20 million to spend on the purchase of the Safeco property.
It seems that the city council has no regard for the concerns of the citizens of Lake Oswego and continues to foist projects down our throats such as the proposed (changes for) the Lake Grove business district.
Are these tradeoffs that we really want to make? I am looking forward to your response.
Gene S. Park is a resident of Lake Oswego.