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Troutdale approves controversial project

City will vacate sidewalk in deal

TROUTDALE - Ending a protracted and bitter land-use fight, the City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday, Feb. 27, to approve plans for a nine-home development known as Tyson's Place.

The approval means the city will pay the project's developer, D.A. Grey Ltd., $300,000 to settle a lawsuit between the two sides and Multnomah County. The settlement is to offset lost revenue and attorney fees after the long fight over the project, which originally called for 19 condominiums and drew outrage from residents in the adjacent Sedona Park neighborhood.

The city also will remove a nearly 150-foot-long sidewalk connecting 257th Avenue to Southwest Edgefield Avenue so the entire project can shift 7 feet to the south. This step, aimed at alleviating a steep-slope issue on one of the lots, is subject to public process. Anytime a public easement is surrendered, neighboring residents and the city's planning commission must be notified, per state law. After planners weigh in, the issue must go back to the council for final approval. Citizens can speak at the planning and council hearings.

Troutdale Senior Planner Elizabeth McCallum said the public is not losing access; it's just relocated, she said, because the developer has agreed to build two sidewalks connecting the streets in front of the planned new homes. Mayor Paul Thalhofer and other councilors said Tuesday they wanted to prevent the existing sidewalk from turning into a narrow, blind alley.

That issue aside, councilors and Ed Sullivan, an attorney representing the developer, said they were glad to get closure on the contentious development itself. No one spoke in opposition Tuesday.

'This is a positive addition to what we've been looking at,' said Council President Doug Daoust.

Residents strongly opposed the original application, which would have greatly increased traffic through Sedona Park.

After Tuesday's vote, the city's community development director, Rich Faith, said the acrimony involved in Tyson's Place 'caught everyone's attention' and led to greater scrutiny by city officials. He called the process Troutdale's 'land-use nightmare' and decried those who questioned city planners' ethics. He pledged to protect both the rights of property owners and neighbors' quality of life for the city's overall benefit.

D.A. Grey also will install a guardrail along 257th Avenue for the length of their property to prevent vehicles from crashing into homeowners' fences.

The homes are expected to be priced in the mid-$300,000 range.