It may look like living in the Stafford Triangle is to be wise in the Way of the Coyote, savvy to the moods of the Tualatin River or maybe even One with Brother Owl. But it's also living with constant rumors that this or that entity will subdivide you, annex you, plan you out of existence or mess with your way of life in general.
Last fall the Triangle fell off the map, literally, to become the Stafford Hamlet in hopes of being a part of that planning process. Hamlets, brainchildren unique to Clackamas County, are rare. But the governance model is familiar; neighbors facing a common concern connect through their common values and seek an innovative solution for the common good.
In our case the common concern is that imminent change will come at us in the form of random chunks of development and quiet, haphazard spurts of infill that will irrevocably change our way of life without respectfully asking our opinions or listening to our ideas for our own future. Unplanned growth will create problems beyond our not being able to farm or raise livestock or live with nature anymore. With no unified vision of where we're going, provisions for needed infrastructure or guarantees for continued water supply, we can end up living in a real mess that could take decades to reverse. The solution is a good design that uses change to solve problems with beauty and simplicity.
The hamlet's initial purpose is to create a broad conceptual design for our future development based on thoughtful citizen input and involvement. Our first town hall meeting April 14 will kick off this planning and communication venture. It's at Athey Creek Middle School at 10 a.m. We'll be outlining our timetable for the next year or so and will explain all the points along the way where we've structured in community decision making as well as explain how you can keep abreast of our progress without coming to every meeting. Like a Back to School night, I think you'll find it useful information.
Perhaps you don't live in the hamlet, but drive through it because you like the respite of country roads. You're a stakeholder too. If you've got a cool idea for sustainable growth or a novel plan for changing the planet, talk to us. We want to hear. We have lots of room for your ideas, too.
For more information check out our Web site, www.staffordhamlet.org, or leave a phone message at 503-460-5699 and we'll get back to you.
Hope to see you there!
Carol Yamada is chair of the Stafford Hamlet committee and is a resident of the Stafford Basin.