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Tualatin council concerned that planning may squeeze out bypass
Tualatin and Wilsonville have different takes on the project
TUALATIN - Tualatin City Council members are calling Wilsonville officials' desire to plan parts of an unincorporated area between the two cities a thinly veiled attempt to keep the proposed I-5/99W bypass as far away from Wilsonville's northernmost highway interchange as possible.
Tualatin city officials are worried that concept planning proposed by the city of Wilsonville on 115 acres north of Day Road could further limit where a connector road for Interstate 5 and Highway 99W could be placed.
During a council workshop session June 26, Mayor Lou Ogden said that he had told Wilsonville officials his concern that planning in any form could lead to urbanization that makes right-of-way acquisition for a bypass more difficult.
'But they (Wilsonville officials) don't see it as a problem,' Ogden added.
Wilsonville was awarded a Transportation Growth Manage-ment grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation for master planning of an area south of Day Road and concept planning for an area initially described as one lot north of Day Road. Planning of an area is generally perceived as the first step for a city to take before attempting to annex the land.
However, concerns from Tualatin officials rest more on the lot north of Day Road and the effect that planning the area might have on the proposed I-5/99W connector route.
Tualatin council members thought that all planning for unincorporated land sandwiched between Tualatin's Norwood Road and Wilsonville's Day Road was suspended until a route for the much-anticipated I-5/99W connector was decided.
Earlier this year, Tualatin officials were made aware of Wilsonville's TGM grant application, which listed Tualatin as an involved jurisdiction. However, Tualatin was never made aware of the grant application prior to submittal.
In February, Wilsonville Mayor Charlotte Lehan responded to Tualatin officials' concerns by saying that the concept planning north of Day Road was simply a way to look at traffic impacts and access for Coffee Creek-area planning.
But Tualatin officials are not seeing it that way. Council members instructed staff to look into the Metro ordinance that was supposed to postpone planning in that area until the connector route was decided.