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City won't challenge Stafford housing forecast

The Lake Oswego City Coucil last week decided against sending a letter protesting Metro housing forecasts for the Stafford area, which lies between Lake Oswego, Tualatin and West Linn.

West Linn’s council already agreed to sign the letter, which Tualatin is also supposed to consider signing. West Linn and Tualatin have appealed Metro’s designation of Stafford for future urban development, a legal battle that is still in process. Lake Oswego has long opposed urban growth in the Stafford area but didn’t challenge the designation.

Mayor Kent Studebaker suggested sending a different letter than the other two cities. His version would have stated that officials think Metro’s projection of 1,700 new residences in Stafford by 2035 or 2040 is inaccurate and premature.

However, the council as a whole shot down that proposal.

Councilor Skip O’Neill said he went to a recent meeting packed with Stafford residents working to plan how that area develops in the future. He said Lake Oswego should make sure it is also involved in planning.

“Maybe we should have that conversation with Metro,” he said. “Maybe we should set the stage and be a leader on this. It seems like a never-ending discussion because it’s being led by someone who doesn’t live there.”

Councilor Karen Bowerman noted that Lake Oswego’s methodology for determining certain fees and water projects was based, in part, on thousands of new residents coming to Stafford.

“We also built to capacity with our water supply for almost 7,000 people in Stafford at the time of buildout,” she said. “The numbers are there.”

The proposal to formally object to Metro’s projections failed 4-3, with Studebaker, Jeff Gudman and Mike Kehoe in support and Bowerman, O’Neill, Jon Gustafson and Donna Jordan opposed.



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