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Backyard now has easement for future Willamette River trail

The riverfront house recently bought by the city of Lake Oswego is back on the market.

At 455 Furnace St., the property is part of a plot to eventually complete a trail linking Lake Oswego to other cities on the west side of the Willamette River.by: VERN UYETAKE - The city of Lake Oswego is trying to sell this house at 455 Furnace St., which features a backyard on the banks of the Willamette River.

The quick turnaround was part of the city council’s plan when it voted to buy the house. Council members hoped to carve out a public easement on the edge of the yard, along the river, and put the house back on the market. The easement would preserve a strip of land for the future path.

Initially, in September, the city offered $1.225 million for the property, but it reduced that in October to $1.190 million after a property inspection.

The 4,000-square-foot house is now listed for $1.17 million.

The 1938 remodeled Craftsman has four bedrooms and sits on a roughly half-acre lot near George Rogers Park in the Old Town neighborhood. The three-story home is advertised as having a covered deck, a patio and a huge backyard.

The council’s September vote to purchase the house passed 5-2, with Councilors Donna Jordan and Jeff Gudman, former Councilors Bill Tierney and Sally Moncrieff and former Mayor Jack Hoffman in support, and with Councilor Mike Kehoe and former Councilor Mary Olson opposed.

At that point, Gudman mentioned he once opposed the idea but had changed his mind.

“Over the last few weeks I have gone back and examined the recommendation, and this is something which has been the goal of multiple councils of widely varying opinions and judgments over at least 20 years,” Gudman said, noting he was concerned about the risk of being saddled with unwanted property but couldn’t overlook the “opportunity” for an easement.

Oregon lawmakers established the Willamette River Greenway program in the 1960s. The program aims to protect and enhance ecological, natural, scenic, recreational and other resources along the Willamette River.

Contract Publishing

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