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Competition emphasized – at what cost?

I had written to the (Lake Oswego) Development Review Commission to have a voice in the (May 5) meeting regarding the Conditional Use Permit (File No: LU8-2007) being very much opposed to allowing additional field use at Lakeridge. With the new parks recently completed surrounding Lakeridge, it seemed overwhelming to have this new issue regarding a new football field needing another CUP to allow parking in our neighborhoods and the use of speaker systems to give coverage to our games. I was glad I had written my protest since the council chamber was full with people sitting on the floor.

Being in a close-by neighborhood (SunnyHill Neighborhood Association) to Lakeridge for 27 years and a native of Oswego, I was very anti-Avamere for the very reason that it would impact the parking and traffic of Lakeridge. My three children attended Lakeridge when it was newly built. In 1971, we were thinking 'green' before it was a 'new standard.' It was built with the idea of sharing the football field with Lake Oswego High. This seemed like a special bonding between the two schools. Now the image is we have to emphasize the 'competition' between teams and by having 'equal playing fields' … never mind how much this costs our neighborhoods. The parking at Lakeridge is such a major problem presently, I particularly notice that cars now park on the curbed green grass areas of landscaping when I go up to watch my grandsons play. They play both baseball and basketball for Oregon City High School.

This adds to my criticism when a front-page article written by Rebecca Mayer (May 8, 2008) used Google Earth photos to validate single family dwellings adjacent to high school fields. I can't speak for the other schools, but Oregon City was built on very open land. The design was very well done including adequate parking for their fields. The homes that were built later, people chose to live close to the school. This article's information is misleading and takes away from the efforts of such great concern for those in the Palisades Neighborhood who are already stressed by inadequate parking, by the high speeds of Stafford's traffic and then not slowing down to make our streets safe.

However, the wonderful Citizen's View written by Bruce Hesselman (May 22, 2008) 'Consider the Field's Impact' gives us hope that more people are concerned about the impact of major change and what really happens to our environment when so little regard is given to preserving some of the heritage that we treasure in our neighborhoods, as well as our supporting quality education in our schools.

Loeta McElwee is a Lake Oswego resident.

Editor's note: The assertion that reporter Rebecca Mayer 'used Google Earth photos to validate single family dwellings adjacent to high school fields' is not accurate. Instead, she reported, as part of her coverage of the May 5 DRC meeting, that 'Larry Lapardo, vice president of Lake Oswego Soccer Club, presented photos from Google Earth of 25 other high school stadiums that are adjacent to single family dwellings including Tigard, Southridge, Westview and Oregon City.'