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Project has a 'great deal of potential downside'

Over the years whenever I have sold an automobile I’ve made it a point to confirm identification from the other party to verify they were who they said they were. Just good practice in money matters.

Since the proposed Wizer block development calls for approximately $6 million in taxpayer subsidies, one would hope that the city council when weighing this high-density apartment complex proposal would apply the same due diligence.

I believe the public deserves full disclosure regarding who would benefit from this largess.

I am not talking about simply disclosing the developer, the carefully crafted name of his development company and the architectural firm. But instead, a full list of all parties including individual investors, silent partners, overseas governments, banks, hedge funds or whatever. Also, it would be interesting to know how many, if any, local “consultants” were employed, or gifted with promises of work, out of the Lake Oswego population to try to influence neighborhood association’s surveys or overall public opinion.

Yes, I know many would say this is a privacy issue or that it is an unrealistic expectation. Nevertheless, with the carefully worded advertisements, and proliferation of non-LO resident letters to the Lake Oswego Review touting this proposal, one can sense that the moneyed few are desperate to convince the public that this will be a good thing. Sorry, but I don’t agree.

The increased traffic, parking congestion, noise, trash and negative impact on Millennium Plaza Park and local small businesses, let alone the precedent it sets for future proposals, all spell a huge setback to our village atmosphere.

If you have any illusions about this high-density apartment complex being a solution for seniors wanting to downsize, I suggest that the developer have the courage to publish the anticipated rental fees for these units. I question how many seniors on semi-, or totally, fixed incomes will forgo a condo or townhouse for a high-priced apartment, with all the instability of transient neighbors, rising rental fees and the whims of a landlord.

Let’s be candid. This is a high-density apartment complex designed for maximum profit to the developers, that benefits hugely from its location next to the city’s heart, with little or no benefit, and a great deal of potential downside to the public at large.

Roger Rollins is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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