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House comes down for park space

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: JOHN SCHRAG - Dave Erickson of Daneal Construction in Newberg prepared to level a vacant house adjacent along Sunset Drive in Forest Grove on Monday morning. Forest Grove officials are pushing forward with plans to create a north entrance to Lincoln Park.

On Monday, a contractor leveled a vacant home adjacent to the northeast corner of the park. The city purchased the home, and the three-acre parcel it sat on, in October with the goal of expanding the park and and providing an entrance not only to the recreation space, but the city itself.

Visitors (and some residents) have long been vexed by the lack of access to the city's signature public park from Sunset Drive, which is a major gateway to the city.

But with the purchase of the land, located at 2642 Sunset Drive, the city will be able to provide an entrance and expand the park, which is used by the public and Pacific University.

The city bought the land for $305,000 using proceeds from system-development charges pegged to park development, so no property-tax proceeds were spent in the purchase.

A portion of the parcel is a swale, which the city will use to manage stormwater. But there are two dry sections that could be used for recreation or parking.

With the house gone, members of the city's parks and recreation commission will begin discussions on the best use of the parcel.



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