'Mr. Wizer has another option'
The original plan for Block 138 (Lake View Village) was hotly debated and unpopular.
Lets be clear with the facts. The original plans called for a very large, tall and modernistic design which residents did not want. Due to public outcry, the architects totally redesigned the plans to what is currently the Lake View Village we enjoy today. Residents are similarly voicing strong objection to the Wizer proposal as too large and modernistic that does not fit the characteristics of our LO style.
We hope Gene Wizer will enjoy his retirement and the fruits of his labor. However, Lake Oswego residents wish to preserve their picturesque village and our unique small-town lifestyle. Considering this is not Wizers first attempt to redevelop, it should have been no surprise that we have community codes requiring redevelopment to be two to three stories (like Lake View Village) with a possible fourth story. Our codes stipulate a small-scale, picturesque downtown within our historical roots, the LO style. Wizer partnered with modernistic developers and architects. His property is not zoned for a big box store.
This is desperation and fear mongering.
Mr. Sause suggests for those who want less height and mass in our commercial centers (what we prefer to think of as our town square) we should begin a process of pressuring city council to restrict fifth-story buildings elsewhere downtown but allow the five-story out-of-character Wizer apartment complex. You dont think the next set of developers and their attorneys would demand the same height exception as W&K Development is asking?
Compare the 60-foot peaks of Lake View Village, which create an open European feeling to the overall 60 foot height and density of 228 apartments stacked up to five stories (not code). Contrast the welcoming, attractive look and feel of Lake View Village at two to three stories, with Wizers entire block of repetitious chunky apartment buildings with uninviting entrances. Lake Oswegos historical roots evoke charm. But you will not find an arch or rose window anywhere on their proposals.
Balconies were added to bring definition to flat monotonous facades. As one of our city councilors correctly stated, Balconies attract white plastic furniture, barbecues, bikes. The retort was life is messy. As that answer set in, a developer quickly suggested very strict CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions). As a former board member of Fairway Estates at the Resort at the Mountain, that doesnt work. You can have very strict CC&Rs but it is literally impossible to police balconies with any regularity. Be prepared to stare up at renters bikes, skateboards, dead plants, beach towels when dining al fresco and watch out for falling cigarette butts as you walk by. Welcome to the Big City.
People choose to live and visit here for our picturesque character as one might choose Carmel. We may not have an ocean, but to quote Movoto, a real estate site that described Lake Oswego The city is a nice, quaint and picturesque vacation spot. That will change with Wizers massive modernistic apartment complex.
Mr. Wizer has another option. Ask the architects and developers to honor most residents wishes to retain our town character with a smaller redevelopment of apartments or condominiums, more green space, retail and restaurants in true Lake Oswego style.
Philip Pirrotta is a resident of Lake Oswego.
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