Re. the lake access question: Answer is no
In response to Todd Prager's citizen's view last week, and the question, 'Do you think the issue of lake access (by the public) should be addressed,' my response is no. Can you hear me shouting?
And shame on you, Mr. Prager, for stepping outside the boundaries of your appointment to raise this issue.
A function of the Planning Commission is to advance the Comprehensive Plan for Lake Oswego, required by the state of Oregon. Posted on the website as action areas for the plan are: Community Culture, Urban Design, Economic Vitality, Safety and Traffic, Housing Options, Health and Public Safety, and Healthy Ecosystems.
In an effort to educate the community regarding the Comprehensive Plan, the Citizens Advisory Committee, (CAC), (We Love Lake Oswego) was formed,' to provide recommendations to the Planning Commission, educate the community, and help the city meet the State mandated planning requirements'.
The CAC has 15 members; nine from city boards and commissions, five at large, and one from city council. Of the five at large, two represent neighborhoods, First Addition/Forest Hills and Glenmorrie. These neighborhoods do not have deeded access to Oswego Lake.
Should not a true consensus for an answer to your question include those of us who reside in neighborhoods with deeded access as well as lakeside residents?
Quoting Prager, from an email to the Planning Commission, (Sept. 9): 'Just as lake accessibility has been a top community issue during the park's Master Plan process, in my experience it is also a top issue for the Comprehensive Plan process. My hope and recommendation is that the CAC more fully explore the issues and questions of Oswego Lake accessibility before recommending goals and policies about Oswego Lake for the updated Comprehensive Plan.'
Are suggesting holding up the published agenda until the advisory committee includes your interest for public access? Not what I would consider transparent advice for an appointed planning official.
Mr. Prager, we citizens trust that non-elected community representatives consider the interests of us all, within the limited mission statement they steward. We do not assume you use the public trust to further agendas beyond this scope. Public access to Oswego Lake is clearly outside the mandate of the Planning Commission the CAC or Parks and Recreation.
The city has neither the time or funds to challenge the Lake Corporation for lake management. It is my personal perspective that the Lake Corp has done a phenomenal job in caring for this natural resource. Shareholders who live on the lake or have deeded lake rights, have stepped up to every budget issue to keep this resource as pristine and private as possible.
I would also ask if you have considered the burden we shareholders bare of taxes and lake frontage fees? How will public use be taxed? How will public access effect the stringent requirements of the LOC to prevent invasive fauna/flora by watercraft? How will public access affect the property values of those of us with lake rights? Is the city prepared to compensate us for our loss? How would we be guaranteed that collected taxes remain for lake stewardship, or would it disappear into the general fund?
Mr Prager, we all face challenges today. Our citizens would be better served if you adhere to the script as published on the city Website, 'Hello LO' and the Lake Oswego Review, with regard to the Comprehensive Plan. The script does not include public access to Oswego Lake.
Jan Goodwin, Lake Oswego, is president of Lakewood Bay Community Club. She submits this as her own opinion and not as a representative of the neighborhood lake easement.