I wish to clarify the situation regarding the use of the Lake Grove Swim Park for LOIS.
It is misinformation to say that the users of the park are to blame for the change to use Allen Road and other adjacent streets in the project.
I was closely involved in the events that transpired and the reality is this:
The users were unaware of the use of the swim park in the LOIS project. When the park opened, the notice to take down trees had come and gone and no one had the opportunity to appeal. When I asked patrons, no one knew anything about the park closure. The school district had been in negotiations without notifying park patrons, which could have easily been done.
I had concerns about the historic integrity of the park and was shocked to learn that the deed was very straight forward in protecting it for 'the children and their families.'
It was, in my mind, a potentially disasterous liability to the project to use the park when the deed states that 'any resident of the area entitled to use said premises as hereinabove provided, shall have the right to, and may, be suit or action, including mandatory injunctive relief, seek to enforce said conditions ...' the project could have been delayed short term or long by one individual who opposed it's use for LOIS.
I truly feel such compassion for all that will have a direct impact from the project, but know that had the process been more open the city would have had the option to look at alternatives early on. There was a large lot on Southshore for instance, that was for sale. We could have had that as a permanent access point and a staging area and the balance of the lot could have been sold later for development.
I may be wrong, but I believe that the city did not look at alternatives because they believed that the swim park use had been promised to them.
The attempt to use the park would have huge detrimental impact on this valuable and expensive project. I am still hopeful that if we work together as a community we can find alternatives still. We need to have open and honest dialogue from our leaders so that these situations do not continue to occur. This community is developing a history of mistrust and blame.
Tia Ross is a resident of Lake Oswego.