This is an open letter to the 'bring our Pacers home' crowd, the Lake Oswego School Board and the powers at (Lake Oswego) City Hall.
Who am I? I have served as school board member and chairman, Intermediate Education District finance committee member, chairman for a bond measure which successfully funded new music, science, and gym construction, president of Kiwanis International, member of two chambers of commerce, been an athlete in three sports and have coached four sports for 35 years.
I am the biological father of 7 children and have 13 grandchildren. Two of my sons were all-state outfielders. I am most importantly a Christian man that lives his faith. I hope this establishes that I am not some crazy, athletic-hating individual with an ax to grind.
Today I drove the neighborhood surrounding Lakeridge High School. I've been told that parking can affect about 1/2 mile from the proposed stadium facility. Certainly the roar of the crowd will be heard for 1/2 mile at least. I counted the single family homes that would be affected. Here they are, by street:
Treetop Lane - 17, Treetop Way - 11, Meadowlark Lane - 20, Ridge Pointe - 9, Ridgelake Drive - 13, St Clair Drive - 9, Overlook Drive - 14, Hillside Drive - 14, Fernwood Drive - 35, Marjorie Avenue - 7, Banyon - 9, Koawood - 5, Cloverleaf -15, Mapleleaf Road - 23, Campus Way - 17, Greentree Road and Way - 22. That is a total of 240 homes. Those 240 homes were designed and built to establish a place of residential peace. They are not Quonset huts. Some are old like our's of 35 years. Some are new and very expensive. They were all built with absolutely no expectation as to what is proposed. None were built expecting their streets to be lined with parked vehicles and strewn with trash. None were constructed with expectation that their occupants would be bombarded with noise until late at night. None were placed with anticipation of falling property values occasioned by the current proposal for their neighborhood.
Some have stated that if we don't like it that we should just move. I can only counter by asking them, would you? Some have stated it's only for four or five football games a year. The fact is that there are already lacrosse and soccer interests lined up to take advantage of the situation.
I know that we are playing against a stacked deck. Powers outside of the immediate Lakeridge neighborhood have taken over our association. The school board is replete with ex-jocks and parents that put an athletic situation ahead of the interests of 240 homes. The powers in city government rubber stamp everything that will curry personal favor. The only thing we can do evidently is to appeal to the hearts of those that have brought our neighborhood to the state that we face. This letter asks that you consider the impact that you have had.
Bruce Hesselman is a resident of Lake Oswego.