Tigard council reviews testimony for incorporation hearings

Tigard will discuss incorporating the City of Bull Mountain with Washington County

TIGARD - With a series of public hearings on the prospect of incorporating the City of Bull Mountain beginning July 25, Tigard City Council members on Tuesday discussed the comments they will make to the Washington County Board of Commissioners on the issue.

The commissioners have set hearings to decide if they will place incorporation on the November ballot, and the council and interim Community Development Director Tom Coffee discussed the city's position on the issue.

The council does not plan to raise procedural objections to the incorporation process, and the city and county have agreed to terminate an urban services intergovernmental agreement that applies to the unincorporated Bull Mountain area effective July 20.

City staff previously reviewed the Bull Mountain Economic Feasibility Statement and found fault with several issues, including in their opinion overestimating revenue and underestimating expenditures.

ORS 221 allows the governing body of a neighboring city to raise objections to a proposed incorporation if it finds that the incorporation will adversely affect the city.

Tigard officials are concerned about the impact the new city would have on its library, police and parks services.

'The city of Tigard taxpayers would be subsidizing Bull Mountain residents' use of city parks and operation costs of those facilities,' Coffee said in a memo to the council. 'Similarly, the extent to which law enforcement services provided through contract with the county sheriff are supplemented by city of Tigard police services, Tigard taxpayers will be subsidizing the new City of Bull Mountain.

'This has been a concern of the City Council for some time, and that concern would not be resolved through the creation of the City of Bull Mountain. The problem of taxpayer equity may in fact be made more intractable.'

There is also concern about the proposed boundary of the new city, which roughly would be encompassed by the Tigard city limits and Beef Bend, Roy Rogers and Scholls Ferry roads.

'The city of Tigard understands that the Washington County Board of Commissioners is likely to refer to the voters the matter of (incorporating) the Bull Mountain area as a city,' Coffee said. 'If the board does so, the city requests that the boundary as proposed by petitioners be amended so that certain properties owned by the city of Tigard not be included within the area of the proposed new city.'

Specifically, Tigard owns, controls or is in the process of acquiring property in three different areas inside the proposed boundary.

'Tigard accepts that two of the areas, one adjacent to Area 63 and the two parcels on High Tor Drive, may be included within the proposed new city to provide for regular and rational boundaries,' Coffee said. 'However, the city owns a very large area of property in the Sunrise Lane, 150th Avenue and Menlor Lane area, and is acquiring additional property in that area.

'Tigard requests that the county not include this Tigard-owned property within the proposed new city.'

The memo then describes in detail Tigard's proposed boundary between the two cities through this area.

The council agreed that a letter to the commissioners would be drafted detailing their concerns and questions for Mayor Craig Dirksen to review and sign.

'I want to start focusing on Tigard,' said City Council President Nick Wilson. 'The last four years were spent on issues outside Tigard.'