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Appeal filed on Lakeridge decision

Four neighbors, calling themselves the Stafford Neighborhood Group, filed an appeal Monday to the city of Lake Oswego's recent decision to allow Lakeridge High School home football games this fall.

The Lake Oswego City Council will hear the appeal on Tuesday, July 22, at 6 p.m.

Back in June, the Development Review Commission voted unanimously to allow games at the field in the Palisades neighborhood, despite some continued attempts by Gordon Harris, who is one of the petitioners, to lengthen the process.

Harris felt the process hadn't included the proper documents, but the commission denied his request to keep the hearing open.

In general, the DRC felt that the school district had taken all of the necessary measures to comply with the neighborhood. However, a condition was added that the school district return to the DRC after one year for a review. At that time, the DRC is asking for further study of key areas, such as decibel readings of football games and a traffic count of drop-offs that occur at the field.

DRC members also added a condition requiring the district to be responsible for trash cleanup.

Still, the Stafford Group, which includes Gordon and Carolyn Harris, Jaliene Hollabaugh and Becky Salsburg, found 11 reasons the athletic complex is not in compliance with the neighborhood.

'For almost 40 years no spectator sports have occurred at Lakeridge, what has changed?' said Salsberg at the May hearing on the issue. 'The field was not meant to be used for large events.'

Salsburg did not vote in the Palisades Neighborhood Association's Oct. 17, 2007, vote on the issue, which had 93 percent support. She testified at the May hearing that not everyone noticed the mention of the vote in the neighborhood newsletter.

The Stafford Group's list of incompatibilities includes: Road safety, lack of adequate parking, crowd noise and pedestrian safety.

The appeal is not unexpected, said Nancy Duin, Lake Oswego School District communications director.

'We were anticipating an appeal and the district is still very committed to working with the neighbors.'

The district already has committed to meeting twice a year with the neighborhood to be sure the district is doing all it can to mitigate any issues.

The appeal could affect Lakeridge's ability to play any home games this fall, however, it was unlikely that the district could have the stadium ready by the first home game on Aug. 29 anyway.