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Lake Oswego City Council adopts pot restrictions

Rules will impact marijuana businesses in Lake Oswego if voters overturn City's ban in November

STUDEBAKERSome councilors wanted tougher rules and others wanted to loosen restrictions, but in the end the City Council voted Tuesday to enact the Planning Commission’s proposed regulations on marijuana businesses in Lake Oswego.

The time, place and manner rules would be used in the event that voters choose in November to overturn the City’s current ban on pot-related businesses.

The adopted rules would expand the no-retail “buffer zones” around schools to 1,500 feet — beyond the state-mandated minimum — and add a 500-foot buffer around licensed daycare facilities. They would also limit production and manufacturing facilities to areas zoned Industrial, which for Lake Oswego would mean only in the Foothills district.

Mayor Kent Studebaker said he thought the rules didn’t go far enough, proposing an amendment that would also limit retail facilities to industrial zones. He said that while a majority of Lake Oswegans voted to legalize recreational marijuana statewide, that result should not be viewed as a call for marijuana businesses in the city.

“It’s legal in Oregon,” he said. “But it doesn’t have to be in our city.”

GUSTAFSONCouncilor Jon Gustafson said making the rules more restrictive could be seen as unreasonable and would risk having the City be challenged in court. Most of the council agreed; the amendment was defeated in a 5-2 vote, with only the mayor and Councilor Skip O’Neill voting “yes.”

However, when Gustafson later moved to loosen the rules and allow production in Industrial Park zones as well as Industrial zones, that amendment was also defeated in a 5-2 vote, with only Gustafson and Councilor Joe Buck voting in favor.

Councilor Jeff Gudman called the existing set of rules “a good first step,” and Councilors Jackie Manz and Charles Collins agreed. Studebaker and O’Neill joined them in voting for the original package, while Buck and Gustafson voted no.

Later in the meeting, the council also considered adopting a resolution to officially oppose state Measure 97. The resolution was added to the agenda at the request of Studebaker, and was closely modeled on a resolution passed by the City of Hillsboro earlier this year.

Declaring that the corporate gross-receipts tax measure was “not well written,” Studebaker said he thought it was important to bring the issue up — although he also said his intention was partially just to see how the rest of the council felt about taking a position.

“(Measure 97) sounds good,” he said. “But when you look at it, you could lose a lot of jobs.”

Several councilors expressed concern about the precedent of endorsing a statewide measure, and Gudman moved to table the resolution. Gudman has been critical of Measure 97, but he said he thought the City’s resolution would be “opening the door” to arguments over future ballot measures.

“Given our limited staff and council time, this is not a door we want to go through,” he said.

According to City Attorney David Powell, the City has regularly taken positions on both regional measures and state legislation, but has only rarely weighed in on state ballot measures; the last time the City passed such a resolution was in 1989.

In other council business:

— The council awarded four project contracts: one to replace the roof of the Waluga 1 Reservoir, one to design a replacement for the Marylhurst water pump station, one to replace the dilapidated field lights in George Rogers Park with LEDs and one for upcoming renovations to the library’s work room.

— The council authorized a lease agreement with the Lake Oswego Preservation Society to allow the group to turn the Historic Iron Workers Cottage in Old Town into a museum and meeting space.

— The council voted to use possible county fuel tax revenue for road maintenance, although there was disagreement as to whether the new revenue should supplement current road funding or partially replace it, freeing up general funding for other projects.

— The council approved appointments to the Sustainability Advisory Board, as well as youth-member appointments to several boards. Stephanie Glazer and Sarah Hussion were appointed to three-year terms on the SAB, with Robert Sack and Sharon Lumbantobing serving as alternates. Ashley Hall and Karthik Sreedhar were appointed as youth members to the Sustainability Advisory Board, Rhys Richmond to the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Advisory Board and Sebastian Marin-Quiros to the Library Advisory Board.

— The council welcomed new Lake Oswego Police Officer Steve Chon, who joins the force after moving to Lake Oswego from Chicago.

Contact Anthony Macuk at 503-636-1281 ext. 108 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..