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A counter argument to Oakridge senior housing project

As a result of a very personal attack disguised as an opinion piece I feel it is necessary to respond to Rick Parfrey ('Another side of Oakridge Senior Housing Project,' July 17). I recognize that we are all entitled to our own opinions but I do think that it is highly unnecessary to make a personal attack.

Your point: 'Inasmuch as her column contains a number of untruths, misrepresentations and convenient omissions, I would like to offer a response.'

The truth: All comments in my opinion piece came directly from our LUBA appeal and went unrebutted by either attorney at the LUBA hearing.

Your Point: 'As a matter of disclosure, I am not a member of the Lake Grove Presbyterian Church nor am I in any way connected with Northwest Housing, the non-profit developer for this project. I have attended all of the DRC hearings as well as the city council meeting where WNA made its appeal of the DRC decision and, as such, have considerable knowledge regarding the public discourse surrounding this project.'

The truth: You omitted the important fact that your wife is a local Presbyterian pastor and that you have close ties to the church community. As a result I find your personal attack to be rather un-Christian. While you attended the DRC hearings you didn't attend the DRC hearing where Evan Boone (city attorney) explained to DRC members that they erred in (a) accepting the engineering letter from NWHA (b) Allowing testimony on parking. He stated that by code the meeting should have been continued (to allow proper legal notice of the meeting) or they should have kept the record open to allow additional time for written testimony. No less than three times individuals asked for a continuance and were denied.

Your point: 'WNA's concern over parking is predicated on the contention that parking is already at a premium in their neighborhood and that this project would exacerbate the situation. In reality, by frequent observations taken between last November to the present at any given time an average of one to two cars uses the 15 available on-street spaces in this block of Oakridge Street.'

The truth: Now you're a traffic engineer. The fact is parking is an issue for those of us that live in the neighborhood. Your casual observations do not a parking study make. However that was the quality of the parking study submitted by NWHA.

Your point: 'After failing on all preceding arguments opposing the project this statement refers to WNA's last-gasp attempt immediately prior to the LUBA hearing to derail the project by trying to show inconsistencies between the city's definition of 'congregate housing' and that of the federal government.'

The truth: This was no last-gasp argument; this argument was made unsuccessfully to DRC, council and LUBA. I suggest you check the facts in the record. If you read the council findings you will see that the city did in fact find that age is a disability. At LUBA it was uncontested that the LOC was written (regarding congregate housing) to mirror the Federal definition

Your point: 'In conclusion, if representatives of WNA insist on opposing this project in the court of public opinion I would hope that at the very least they make a modest attempt to portray all of the facts in an accurate and complete manner.'

The truth: We did not oppose this project in the court of public opinion; rather we sought out the correct legal venue. As a neighborhood association, it is our obligation to work to protect the quality and integrity of our community from those who lack those same qualities

So in closing, Mr. Parfrey, I suggest you listen to your own advise you unnecessarily offered to me, and I quote 'I would hope that at the very least they make a modest attempt to portray all of the facts in an accurate and complete manner.'

You fell short on your end.

Gail Stuart-Bowles is a resident of Lake Oswego.