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Neighbors offer up three simple requests for Hallinan Heights

In recent articles in The Review, Debbie and Dave Craig make the case that the 16 houses they are developing will have a positive effect on the Hallinan Heights neighborhood. Given the Craigs’ glowing account of their plans to restore livability and vibrancy to the neighborhood, LO citizens might wonder why the neighborhood is so appalled and why there is significant opposition to their plans.

Neighbors have known there would be homes built where the Craigs’ bungalows stood, and if that was all that occurred, there would be no ruckus. But the controversy started when plans were revealed that violate the R7.5 zoning at 1028 Cedar St. and replace one home with four homes on smaller lots. R7.5 zoning would allow two homes. There would be no complaints with that plan.  But in an effort to maximize profits — and at the expense of the character of the neighborhood — the Craigs have opened a can of worms about historical platted lots and their impact on neighborhoods throughout Lake Oswego.

Furthering the problem, the Craigs have added the demolition of their house to their plans to build eight additional tract homes.  In 2011, the Craigs’ home was included in the Lake Oswego Historic Home Tour; today, in order to maximize their development, they will destroy this landmark, increasing density and the associated traffic beyond what the neighborhood association feels is practical.   

Do we oppose development? NO! Neighbors have delved into city codes and rules, working with city councilors, planners and staff to address the issues. But we’ve been shut down by the city on every front. And ignored by the Craigs. Debbie has come to meetings stating a willingness to talk, but every conversation has ended the same: They are building as planned, and nothing has changed.

Our requests are simple.  And given Debbie Craig’s standing in this community, it is baffling that she has turned a deaf ear to these requests from her neighbors:  

1. Build two homes (not four) at 1028 Cedar St. The Craigs regularly approached Ada Brown to purchase that property, giving the impression they were doing so to preserve the neighborhood from overdevelopment (this according to both of Ada’s daughters).  Now we see what comes of that understanding. We’ve pleaded with the Craigs not to pursue their high-density plan, for the good of the entire Hallinan neighborhood.  

2. Destruction of the Freepons/Craig estate seems certain (and shocking to many.)  Given that reality, the neighbors ask the Craigs to minimize density and isolate their development as much as possible — adding parking (not just the minimum required by city codes) and a turnaround that would allow service vehicles and trailers, garbage and delivery trucks and emergency services to navigate the development without putting pressure on the undersized Cedar Street cul-de-sac. 

3. The Craigs and their builder have done everything in their power to avoid any improvement to the infrastructure of Cedar and Bickner streets.  But Cedar Street is crumbling and in serious need of repair. With 12 new homes anticipated near the cul-de-sac, we request restoration of the entire street.  

The neighbors fully accept that there is only so much we can do to stop people as influential and connected as the Craigs. It is our hope that the city, the Craigs and their builder agree to our requests to minimize the impact on our unique neighborhood.

Deborah Baker, Sheryn Bullis, Denise Burns, Myrtle Y. Calkins, Ogaenia Calkins, Tom Carey and Sarah Chamberlain, Jane and Robert Dean, Shelley and Adam Figueora, Brittany, Beau, Avery and Ben Harry, Lindsay Hobson, Ann Lackey, Donna L. Larson, Melissa A. Lavin, Elizabeth Magnus, Liz and Jeff Martin, Donald Mattersdorff, John and Lisa McBride, Ann and Jack Messic, Virgil Morrell, Leslie Pegel, Sara Prohaskas, Elizabeth and William Robbs, Joanne Brown Rollins, James Stupfel and Becky and Larry Urbansky are residents of the Hallinan Heights neighborhood in Lake Oswego.

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