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TriMet may pursue condemnation for Tualatin train station

TriMet has asked to push its Architectural Review Board hearing back 77 days to June 20

TUALATIN - TriMet has hit another roadblock in its quest to construct a Tualatin commuter rail station. And that roadblock might only reach resolution through a condemnation hearing.

In a letter issued to the agency March 22, Zian Limited Partnership informed TriMet that its current application for plans to construct a station just to the east of its Hedges Green Shopping Center property was in need of something - permission to use about 8 feet of property.

The property, according to Bolar Brown, Haggen store manager, stretches north to south along the eastern boundary of Zian's property, which abuts much of what is considered Haggen's parking lot.

Without that easement, Zian claims that TriMet cannot continue with its land-use application and architectural review process for its station. And in the letter written by attorney Steven L. Pfeiffer, Zian states that the company is not interested in selling the property to TriMet either, possibly leaving the agency only one option: condemnation.

TriMet submitted a letter to the city of Tualatin Wednesday asking that the Architectural Review Board hearing on the proposed station scheduled for April 4 be pushed back to June 20.

The 77-day extension, said TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch, will be used to address 'procedural issues' raised in letters from Zian and Brown, the Tualatin Haggen store manager.

Fetsch said the procedural issues TriMet would be looking into focus on express written authority for property. She noted that the written authority required for the proposed station might be sought through the courts or a legal process.

Fetsch also mentioned 'authority' granted by the TriMet board that the agency initially thought was enough to allow the Tualatin station project to move through land-use and architectural reviews.

TriMet's board passed a resolution that authorizes the agency to pursue condemnation hearings for properties needed for the project if necessary.

But according to Zian, TriMet needs to have the written authority before the agency can proceed with an architectural review.

In a letter sent to the Tualatin Architectural Review Board dated March 22, Brown asks that TriMet be required to amend its legal description of its plans for the commuter rail station to include TriMet's intentions to condemn additional property for the project.

Fetsch said TriMet plans to hold another developers' meeting to discuss the project in Tualatin prior to June 20.