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Park trail decision stalled

Council to discuss Robinwood Park trail easement at work session


by: CITY OF WEST LINN - The city of West Linn wants to acquire an easement on Old River Road to add another access to Robinwood Park.What was thought to be an easy solution to add park accessibility to the Robinwood neighborhood is proving to have several obstacles.

During its Sept. 10 meeting, the West Linn City Council moved, yet again, to postpone a vote on an easement for a trail from Old River Drive to Robinwood Park, citing the need for more time to review documentation received from staff.

The city has searched for a way to provide pedestrian access to the park since the city acquired the property 12 years ago. The opportunity recently made itself available.

The issue first came to the council for a vote during its Aug. 13 meeting, where discussions of feasibility of the trail, grade, fees associated with the seller and impact on homeowners arose.

At that time, council members agreed to gather more information, take on-site tours and host discussions before making a decision at the Sept. 10 city council meeting.

Since the August meeting, Robinwood resident Mike Warner has collected a petition signed by 39 residents who do not want the trail. The easement would abut Warner’s property on Old River Drive.

The petition listed a number of reasons the council should not approve the proposal, including environmental and wildlife impacts, park security and safety concerns.

However, some residents insist they do want the additional park access.

“It seems a shame when just one or two who do not want something changed in Robinwood that they get people all upset and do not give all the correct facts,” wrote Robinwood resident Mary Hill in an email to city staff.by: CITY OF WEST LINN - The Parks and Recreation Department are recommending the use of bridges and boardwalks to traverse the sloped terrain.

Resident Don Kingsborough wrote to the council, “I believe that the easement from Old River Road to Robinwood Park would benefit several of our citizens who live on or near Old River Road and also walkers and bikers that use Old River for exercise and enjoyment.”

West Linn Parks and Recreation Director Ken Worcester said the trail route, as proposed, is doable. He said the city found a moderate grade route for the trail and seller on the new easement, which would give more than 100 homes in the northeastern portion of the Robinwood neighborhood easier access to outdoor recreation.

City staff thinks this is the city’s last chance to get another access to the park, as it is the last undeveloped chunk of land abutting the park. A developer, Pacific Lifestyle Homes, has received building permits for two of three lots and has situated the buildings to leave room for the easement. The developer has agreed to “sell” the city the easement in the form of $37,000 worth of system development charge certificates.

If the city acquires the easement it will then have to file a land-use application to create the trail. The proposed easement is 10-feet wide on one lot and 15-wide on the other lot. The property has a gully that runs through it and the city would need a water resource area permit and a design review before a trail can be built.

The council will discuss the easement acquisition during its upcoming Oct. 1 work session and is expected to vote on the matter at its Oct. 8 regular meeting.