Facts suggest changing Lakeridge conditional use permit
Fact No. 1: The original conditional use permit of Lakeridge in 1969 allowed for a stadium with 2,350 permanent seats on the home side and 1,100 seats on the visitor side, with lights, a PA (sound) system and a concession stand. Why it wasn't built then is a question to ask the school board of that time.
The important matter now is how to remedy the obvious lack of parity between the two high schools as, every year, for the past 37 years, parents and students have brought up the subject.
Fact No. 2: There is nothing 'district' about the district stadium at Lake Oswego High School. The Lakeridge Pacers don't even have a locker room; some years the players use a corner of the gym, some years the wrestling room, all decorated in their arch rival's colors. The Pacers are always playing 'away.' Moreover, Lakeridge is allowed to only take home 30 cents for every dollar spent at the concessions during their games. The rest goes to the Lakers.
Fact No. 3: There are a total of 740 parking places at Lake Oswego High School (382 at the school, 120 at the junior high and 238 at the Lutheran church). There are a total of 801 parking places at Lakeridge (340 at the school, 129 at the Mormon church, 168 at City church, 121 at Luscher Farm and 43 legal parking spots on Overlook Drive). Parking is therefore not an issue.
Fact No. 4: All soccer and lacrosse games are already played at Lakeridge during the regular season. We are only talking about five or six days a year for football games. Five days a year.
Fact No. 5: The funds needed to build additional bleachers and a PA system at Lakeridge will be donated. We have already found generous donors from both sides of the lake. There is no taxpayer money involved, contrary to what has been wrongly mentioned before.
Fact No. 6: Only one neighbor bought her house before Lakeridge was built. Every other neighbor should have expected high school activities when they moved by a high school.
Fact No. 7: The Palisades Neighborhood Association Board, elected last June, is in support of a change of the conditional use permit of Lakeridge to allow the Pacers' football games to be played where they belong: home.
The new board ran virtually unopposed. Of the 17 board positions, only three were contested and only one of those three was a close race.
Fact No. 8: We have already collected, in less than four weeks, 5,000 signatures of Lake Oswego residents from both sides of the lake, in support of a change in the C.U.P. How many do we need before the school board takes us seriously? How many do we need before the city realizes that this issue is not going away?
Brigitte Howley is a resident of Lake Oswego.