It has been great to see so many people - Lakers and Pacers - take a stand for fair use of the Lakeridge High School athletic fields. As more and more people are learning, the restrictions in the Lakeridge Conditional Use Permit are unfair. The issue is bigger than Friday night football - the restrictions are preventing this community from hosting premier sporting events. The CUP currently says:

'No seating, including team benches and press boxes, shall be provided even on a temporary basis along the Cloverleaf frontage. No event shall be scheduled to use the athletic field that will require parking spaces, which exceed the available on-site parking. The school district shall require all users of the facility to sign an agreement stating that they agree to the no parking policy in the neighborhood and that parking is limited to the school parking lot.'

The CUP passed before any of the current city council or mayor was elected, but they are still handcuffed by it. According to the city, Lakeridge could not host a home football game even if the school bused all of its fans in from satellite locations, because no event may be scheduled that would require more parking than Lakeridge's approximately 350 space school lot. A lack of parking is not the issue - this restriction means that fans cannot use safe, nearby alternative lots for overflow parking because 'parking is limited to the school parking lots.' In other words, if an event is large enough to require offsite parking, the CUP prohibits it. This policy prevents Lakeridge High School from legally hosting football games (even youth jamborees), boys and girls soccer playoff games and lacrosse playoff games. Two years ago, our boys Lakeridge lacrosse team earned home team advantage in the state championship, but they had no home field to play on!

The games that we do have are also hampered by the CUP's senseless restrictions. We cannot have team benches, even temporary ones, on the visitor's side of the field. When a child is injured, he or she has to lie on the ground. Everyone else has to stand up for the entire game. Visiting fans cannot have bleachers to sit on.

The CUP denies Lakeridge the same rights that Lake Oswego High School has always had. Our city needs to come together and change this ridiculous CUP now. We need to sit down as a community with our neighborhood associations, our high schools, our school board and our city leaders to put in place a realistic conditional use permit that treats this school fairly. If we work together, we can have great sporting events at Lakeridge in 2008. Let's give the Pacers a real field and give the Lakers back theirs. Please join the thousands of adults who are signing the petition to demand our school board and city council amend the CUP at Lakeridge immediately. If you would like to get involved or just sign the petition, please e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Bob Barman is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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