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Bull Mountain to be spared in citys newest annexation

City Manager says Tigard won't annex Bull Mountain in attempt to reach Roy Rogers Road
by: Contributed photo The city hopes to annex land on the far side of Bull Mountain at Roy Rogers Road, but needs to annex Barrows Road to reach it

Tigard City Manager Craig Prosser spoke to a crowd of Bull Mountain residents Thursday to answer questions and ease concerns about Tigard's proposed annexation of land on the far side of Bull Mountain near Scholls Ferry Road and Roy Rogers Road.

Known as River Terrace, the city hopes to annex the unincorporated area west of Bull Mountain over the next few months, and Prosser wanted to assure residents that the city was not trying another annexation of Bull Mountain as well.

'I don't foresee the city making a move to annex bull mountain,' the city manager told a small crowd of concerned residents.

Since the city unsuccessfully tried to annex Bull Mountain in 2004, which sparked an at-times hostile relationship between the two communities, the city has maintained a 'neutral' annexation policy, Prosser said, only annexing areas that request it.

The city must connect River Terrace to the city in order to annex it which presented a problem, Prosser said: Bull Mountain lies directly between the city and the annexable area.

Instead of annexing portions of Bull Mountain in order to reach River Terrace, the city opted instead for portions of Scholls Ferry Road and Barrows Road between the area and Big Al's bowling alley and restaurant.

'We very briefly considered coming through (and annexing) some of the roads in the Bull Mountain area, but we quickly rejected those ideas because of the history between the city and that area,' Prosser said. 'We didn't see the need to stir anything up again.'

Those portions of road are currently a part of Beaverton, which would have to withdraw about one mile of road to Tigard. Beaverton City Council agreed to surrender the road on July 12.

The annexed road will connect the city limits - which currently end just east of Big Al's on Barrows Road - to River Terrace.

Prosser said that the city has no desire to re-start the annexation debate with Bull Mountain, but said that portions of Bull Mountain could be annexed on a case-by-case basis.

In the 1980s, Tigard annexed around the area of Metzger like it is annexing around Bull Mountain, Prosser said, but over the years as property owners have requested annexation, the city has slowly expanded into portions of Metzger.

'Quite honestly that's what I see happening with Bull Mountain,' he said. 'If residents (of Bull Mountain) want to annex, then the city would welcome them with open arms.'

River Terrace, which stretches over about 200 acres, would be the largest annexation since the attempted Bull Mountain annexation.

If the city annexes the land, Tigard will be responsible for the area and will have to prepare a comprehensive community plan for what the area will become. If the area didn't join the city, it would remain part of unincorporated Washington County and rely on the county for services.

Washington County Commissioner Roy Rogers, who lives on Bull Mountain, said that the city was the perfect entity to serve River Terrace as it develops, and said that the city was better equipped to deal with growing urban areas.

'We (Washington County) don't have the luxury to paint with fine lines,' he said. 'Cities paint with fine brushes and the county paints with big brushes …Cities are better at providing urban services, that's what they are designed to do.'

The Tigard City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed annexation on Aug. 23.