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Plans for downtown: 'This is progress'

We are in favor of the apartment building at the Wizer block. When my wife and I grew up, our high school teachers could afford to live in town. Our son’s teachers at LOHS cannot. The Bay Roc and other apartments converted to condos — the city needs nice, affordable housing, and this will provide some. This is progress.

The tenor of the letters to the editor in the Review is too shrill for my wife and me: The concerns about traffic, a “giant looming presence changing the character of our village” and parking seem to be NIMBY hysteria. The developers appear to have anticipated many concerns and have listened to more concerns. They are doing a great job, and this development looks like it will be much nicer than the present, tired Wizer retail establishment. Again this is progress.

Take parking for example: 130-plus spaces for the small amount of business space to be included is plenty. Same with the 300-plus spaces for the 228 apartments. There will be plenty of parking and all underground. This is a great solution to allow more people to enjoy downtown without clogging street parking — this too is progress.

Take traffic: An extra couple hundred commutes a day on Highway 43, up A to Country Club or up Terwilliger will be a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of cars that take those routes daily. Again, there is too much shrill rhetoric — this development is progress.

My wife and I look forward to the increased “mass” of downtown — more people means more and varied restaurants, and more business for the little, locally owned stores like the Oilerie and Lucky Me that we like to support.

We wonder what it is about America (and our wealthy little city) that causes people to be against what looks like progress to us. Be it a new sewer line to stop sewage from entering the lake, a new water project in concert with our neighbors or this privately financed development that is moving our city forward, a broad range of people stand up and say, “Oh, no! The sky is falling!” If Mr. McLoughlin had an attitude like this, Oregon would still be a territory.

We don’t own a business in Lake Oswego, and have no financial interest in the apartment building. We just want to see a good development happen here in our wonderful city and feel this development is getting unfairly bashed. We live near downtown and walk to the market on Saturdays or ride bikes over for UU Yogurt. Downtown will be better with more folks living in it, and we look forward to the creation of a great new place to live.

Harold and Samantha Mottet are residents of Lake Oswego.



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