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Canfield wrong about access to development

I am writing in response to the editorial by Troutdale City Councilor, Robert Canfield, published in the Nov. 29 edition of The Gresham Outlook.

Contrary to Councilor Canfield's opinion, the August vote by the City Council did not "land lock" the proposed Tyson's Place development. The property in question was once owned by Fuji farms when Multnomah took a portion of it to create 257th Avenue. What Fuji got in return was the right to access the adjacent property from 257th. That right-to-access goes with the land. Unfortunately, Multnomah County belligerently chose to ignore that fact and denied access to 257th. The current developer of the proposed Tyson's Place (D.A. Grey) did not object because his preference is to go through our neighborhood as it has a more neighborly feel and is substantially cheaper than the cost of building an access onto 257th. As such, it was the decision of Multnomah County and the current developer's refusal to demand his right of access onto 257th that landlocked the property, not the City Council's August vote.

There's more history regarding access to the property. When the Troutdale Terrace Apartments were built by Mr. Winkler of Ridge Investments, they chose not to build on the southern-most portion of land (now the proposed site for Tyson's Place). Instead, they piled the soils from the lot, leveling for the apartments onto that land, further increasing the slope and making access from the apartment streets impractical. No doubt realizing the lack of access decreased the value of the property, Winkler waited until a home in Sedona Park adjacent to his property came up for sale. He then bought that home and petitioned the city of Troutdale for a lot-line adjustment with the intent of getting the necessary frontage into the Sedona Park neighborhood for access. Due to an oversight by a Troutdale City employee, that lot-line adjustment was allowed without public comment. Had it been processed as required when the granting of a petition would have a significant impact on local residents, the residents of Sedona Park would have opposed it. As such, the residents of Sedona Park, the City Council, and city staff members would not have had to spend the thousands of hours spent this last year trying to come up with a solution that could work for all concerned.

Councilor Canfield also claims that homes within Sedona Park would have to be demolished to provide safe access onto 257th. This is nothing short of sensationalism and fear mongering. Although entering and exiting any road includes inherent hazards, the line of sight north on 257th is exceptional and the excellent safety record of other access to the two apartment complexes and one mobile home park north of Cherry Park Road on 257th further refutes those claims. Access to the proposed development through the Sedona Park neighborhood simply transfers the risk from the would-be residents of Tyson's Place onto the residents of Sedona Park. The rear end accidents Mr. Canfield refers to happen at the intersection of 257th and Sturgis/Cherry Park Road. They were not related to the three points of 257th access north of Sturgis/Cherry Park Road.

Fortunately, the majority of the City Council saw through the hollow claims made by D.A. Grey, his hired professional testimony and his attorney. Instead they chose to focus on what was right when they voted to allow the Tyson's Place development, provided is uses other available access. As pointed out in Councilor Canfield's editorial, he did not. I encourage the citizens of Troutdale to remember this fact two years from now.

Stan Strickland is a Sedona Park Resident.