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King City Multi-unit condominium plans put on hold

Access to Highway 99 hinges on permission by ODOT that could take up to a year to obtain
by: Bob Schoenberg, View from overhead of the Lindquist property in southeast King City. The condominiums are planned for the flat areas above the trees and brush next to the Tualatin River.

Lindquist Development has presented a proposal to King City a plan to develop property near the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue station and the Tualatin River at the south end of town.

Lindquist's proposal is to build a 110 unit condominium complex on the property in two phases. Approximately half the property is in a wetland, but the company will leave that space open, and use part of it for storm water drainage and treatment.

The plans have been passing through the King City Planning Commission process since October and Lindquist Development asked for variances to the applicable city ordinances governing development.

Chief among these variances was access to the property by car. For the size of the project when it is populated, city code requires two separate access points into and out of the property.

One access is a roadway easement to Fischer Road north passing through the west side of River Lake Village property.

Lindquist's representative said that only one main access was necessary and that another near the fire station would be used only by emergency vehicles. The Planning Commissioners asked the developer if they had applied for a permit to access the highway from the property for cars other than emergency vehicles.

When the developer's representative said they had not, the commission asked that they do so first before the variance for a single access road would be approved.

King City's planner Keith Liden said 'That's the gist of it. They are supposed to ask if they can get an unrestricted right in, right out. It is what everyone (the planning commission) thinks is the best they can hope to get.'

The access would be onto Highway 99, but the Oregon Department of Transportation indicated in its response to the original land use plan notification that they would allow only an emergency access point.

It is now up to the applicant, Lindquist Development, to find out what is possible.

It can take up to a year for ODOT to review the request and return a response. It depends on what sort of access was historically present for the property. The applicant will have to dig through titles and deeds and find evidence that there has always been legal access to the highway.

If not, then 'essentially, your are starting over with no access,' said Liden.

Currently the dirt road along the property is used by a property owner living near the river and to the west, and maintenance access for the PGE property behind the fire station.

The traffic impact study turned in by H. Lee and Associates estimated that the 110 units would generate approximately 645 trips daily on average. For the road proposed along the easement, there would be additional traffic generated by the River Lake Village Condominiums.

The other two variances asked for, a pair of setbacks that would allow less space for yards, were denied by the Planning Commission.