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'Monstrous apartment networks' not 'pretty or safe'

Although I do not live in your lovely city of Lake Oswego, I have worked here in the past and I have found myself captivated by your city ever since. With that said, I’m writing this today because I’ve been keeping an eye on the recent politics, and I’m concerned as to whether your elected officials have your city’s best interest at heart.

One of your elected officials, Jeff Gudman, is up for re-election this November. This is disturbing, as after looking into his background, we see him chronically backing high-density village plans. For example, his current support of the Wizer proposal makes me feel that he has his own motives as to what the future of Lake Oswego should be like. Instead of preserving the charming village feel you currently have, he seems intent on supporting those who wish to develop it into a monstrous network of giant apartment complexes. That is despite that fact that a recent survey has come back concerning the Wizer proposal stating that more than two-thirds of the surveyed public is against this high-density project. Why would a council member, who is supposed to be a reflection of the people, stand against your city’s wishes?

Ladies and gentlemen of Lake Oswego, please protect the integrity of your beautiful home. Regardless of what pleasantries may be added to the Wizer project to make it sound better, over-developing your city is not progress. It’s simply the beginning to the end of a pleasant place to live and work. Trust me; I grew up in one of those monstrous apartment networks. The reality is not pretty or safe.

Re-election is coming up for Mr. Gudman, and I feel that if he does not start to show a change in priority concerning your opinions and the welfare of your city, rather than in his own vendetta, I would suggest you support other candidates to represent you. That is to say, if Mr. Gudman, or any councilor, continues to ignore the citizen’s voices, and decides to support the Wizer project in appeal, perhaps it would be time to elect new faces. Hold your officials accountable to your citizens’ overwhelming voice in opposition to this destiny with disaster.

I greatly appreciate your time in reading and considering this as it is the simple opinion of an outsider looking in.

Katherine Cameron is a resident of Milwaukie.

(Editor’s note: Lake Oswego City Councilor Jeff Gudman responds: “Prior to the formal submission of the proposed Wizer property redevelopment project to the city I was actively engaged in conversation with the developer, neighbors, residents of Lake Oswego and local business. Indeed, engaging in and learning from those conversations is one of the best parts of serving on the city council.

“With the formal submission of the project to the city and the possible, perhaps even certain appeal, of the development review commission decision to the city council, any comments I might make about the specific proposal and its meeting or not meeting city code might be construed as ex parte contact and might disqualify me from any hearing.

“The one vote taken by this council (acting as the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency) was unanimous supporting the use of public money for public parking if the project went forward.

“I regret I cannot comment further at this time.

“I hope you understand.

“If you want to get together at some point to discuss this or any other Lake Oswego issue, I will be happy to do so.”)


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