Editors note: With the Thanksgiving holiday next Thursday, some of the Reviews deadlines will be moving up. All opinion pieces for our Nov. 28 paper (which will be delivered/available on Friday, Nov. 29) must be received in the Review office no later than 10 a.m. Monday. Please send opinion pieces to email@example.com. Remember to include your name, address and phone number. Word limits are 200 for a political letter to the editor, 300 for a letter to the editor and 550 for a citizens view. Because of the volume of letters received in recent weeks, we have been forced to hold some pieces for later newspapers.
Get the facts, not hyperbole on downtown plans
We strongly believe consideration of the proposed Wizer block plans should focus on pure design issues only, not hyperbole.
The Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce board believes this is a significant step forward for Lake Oswego. Development of Lake View Village and the townhouse/Tucci block highlight the need for real improvement of this block.
The addition of high-quality residential choices along with revitalized retail space constitutes real needed beneficial economic development and jobs. City findings show that all three buildings in the development as proposed are under height limits, more on-site parking is provided than city rules mandate and property tax boosts and building permit fees will offer real financial boosts to the LO schools and the city. But that only occurs if built with the significant private investment required.
The architectural team engaged by W&K Development is critically acclaimed. Any true design positions can be solved.
This project is the only one of several that attempted to remake this block defeating it will ensure a foundering center for our downtown core no one in our city will benefit from that.
We encourage everyone to get the facts on this great project by visiting buildourvillage.com.
CEO, Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce
President, Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce
I hope the city will approve the development
As a longtime resident of Lake Oswego, I endorse the proposed Wizer Block 137 development in downtown Lake Oswego. It is a plan that reflects a great deal of public participation, it provides for mixed retail and residential use and the design reflects the surrounding uses.
The project will provide additional (and needed) parking in downtown Lake Oswego. The developers design will further enliven the downtown core and is the logical extension of the wonderful development directly across Second Street that has added so much to Lake Oswegos appeal. The height of the three structures will be well within the height limitations contained in the city code and therefore fit nicely into their surroundings.
I love Wizers and wish that it could remain as it always has. But something will take its place.
The design advanced by Evergreen Group LLC is tasteful, fits in with its surroundings and will provide a viable economic use for the venerable Wizer store site. It will add to the excitement of downtown Lake Oswego and benefit the many other venerable businesses in the vicinity that we hope can remain in Lake Oswego.
The added residences, foot traffic and magnet appeal of the retail on site will make it more likely that other businesses in the vicinity will survive. Importantly, it will also add tax revenue to support the city and the great Lake Oswego schools.
I hope the city will approve the development much in its present form in order to demonstrate that the city is friendly to tasteful development, is in favor of economic development and is mindful of the chance to generate more tax revenue from business in the area.
Contradiction in this presentation
In the current edition of Hello L.O., Mayor Kent Studebaker informs us that it is the citys role to ensure that the Wizer block project meets the citys development code requirements and confirms that an exception would have to be made to allow a fifth story, only to conclude (in) the same article that the ultimate decision maker is Mr. Wizer.
One neednt have practiced law to see the contradiction in this presentation. Either the city a public citizenry of 37,000 people has the power to refuse exceptions to the code through its elected officials or that power lies with a single property holder.
During the mayors campaign last year, he wrote: Redevelopment, growth and zoning should preserve and enhance the character of Lake Oswego and none should damage the rights of citizens. ... (T)he city ... should not confuse wise development with increased density in our neighborhoods.
Those of us who put up yard signs in support of the mayors candidacy anticipated that his governing would champion those values, not that he would try to dampen the ardor of Lake Oswegans to protect the character of the city with a shoulder-shrugging misstatement that there was nothing we could do to halt a code-busting decision because that decision lies wholly in the hands of one individual.
Recalling the behind-closed-doors decision making that led to the West End Building fiasco, Lake Oswegans expressed their will against railroading development schemes in last years election, which changed the complexion of the city council. But that was not enough. Protection of the citys interests in protecting if not further strengthening existing code requirements calls for active citizen involvement in Decembers Development Review Commission hearing and whatever else it takes to protect our city as the Wizer block project grinds to a determination.
November is National Caregivers Month
With the holiday season upon us, we know that this is the time of year that family members often fly in to visit their older parents/loved ones, only to find that they have declined greatly. Many of us will then be contacted to assist these families in their search for additional services or for placement. The NW Senior Resources team wants to reassure you that we are here to assist you with meeting these needs.
One question that often comes up during the holidays is how to access respite care. We have an extensive list of local resources to refer families to. As an additional resource for you, we have put together a list of national respite resources (below), to assist those of your clients who need information on respite care in other communities. Please call us if there is any way we can be of assistance. (Remember, there is no charge to the seniors or their families. Our costs are covered by the many senior care facilities that turn to us to streamline their admission process for new residents.)
Here are some resources for locating respite care:Faith in Action (877-324-8411), website: fiavolunteers.org
There are nearly 1,000 interfaith volunteer caregiving programs across the country.National Adult Day Services Association (866-890-7357), website: nadsa.org
They provide information about locating adult day care centers in your local area.National Respite Coalition (703-256-9578), website: archrespite.org/NRC.htm
NRC provides a list of states that have respite coalitions.These state coalitions then list respite services available in their state.
Consultant/owner, NW Senior Resources
Proposed development will change everything
I am a fifth-generation Oregonian and my great-grandmother came here on wagon wheels and settled in First Addition. My family owned the Johnson Hotel on B Avenue and owned much of First Addition near downtown Lake Oswego extending across (Highway) 43 toward the river. Our family history goes on for generations here in this quaint town and I reside here with my children being sixth-generation Oregonians. I enjoy downtown because it is clean, has low crime and it is not congested.
I think that this outrageously large building project is being pushed without some clear thought about how much this will change Lake Oswego. I am not for destroying many lovely aspects of downtown.
Lake Oswego has never had problems attracting community and it doesnt need to start. This building will crush the lovely aspect of parking in our downtown area and create a traffic nightmare. Most households own two cars and any structure that is placed here should be built with this in mind, especially in this price range. Every unit should be allowed two-car parking and there should be additional spaces provided for guest parking. Our (farmers market) is a big draw to the city but if we run into parking issues, residents will start avoiding their own market and functions in our downtown area.
Please consider that this will change everything and spending $6 million in public funds is outrageous when we need to focus that money elsewhere. There should be no exceptions to a five-story building for our town.
Downtown project wont fit LOs personality
I am writing this letter to show my disapproval of the Wizer block development.
I think we all want that block updated, but it struck me how little the proposed project fits the personality of the city of Lake Oswego. In any city project, the core way to draw people to retail is to provide spaces that encourage true gathering, via food, fun or unique experiences like a farmers market.
This community models itself strongly on European township ideas that create that destination feel, but this new block would stand as a barrier against those values and as a barrier to Millennium Plaza Park. Why spend money on all the wonderful open township principles thus far, yet allow such an overflow of density in the heart of the living room of the city? I agree, we need more apartments, but not in the heart of our drawing area.
Mr. Wizer no doubt could have sold his property during the good times for much more than it is worth today. My understanding is it will take $5.5 million in reduced fees and public money to make this lackluster project actually possible. Parking is already a concern in our beautiful downtown.
Any proposed project (developer) should be acutely aware of this if it is in the best interest of our town. Is there no other way to open up access or integrate the pedestrian-oriented experience into and through this massive block? We have a major opportunity to make this block both profitable and an expansion of the destination experience that makes this town shine. A solid block of apartments with poor design will literally be a wall in the face of Lake Oswegos living room.
I hope to attend the design and review meeting in December to voice my opinion in opposition to this project.
Dr. Jason Bussanich
LO chamber member
Not big fans of the proposed downtown project
The Wizer block plan is ugly and overpowering. It is bad planning. It violates thoughtful public limits on height and on parking.
Arthur and Charlene Emlen
Lake Oswego residents for 47 years
Hopefully, lake access will happen someday
The recent headline in the Review Oswego Lake lawsuit pushes ahead made me optimistic that public paddle craft may someday be allowed on the lake. An issue is where would be good egress and access to the lake?
During one of my morning runs, I discovered Bryant Woods park on the feeder canal to the lake. Plenty of parking and the canal really would only allow paddle craft to launch. This site would be not unlike the Tualatin River, where private riverside property owners and paddlers comfortably coexist.
Voters thanked for supporting schools
Thank you Lake Oswego voters for renewing our school levy. As of Nov. 15, Clackamas County Elections reports that we passed our renewal with more than 78 percent of Lake Oswego voters supporting it. This is a huge win for Lake Oswego schools, businesses, residents and homeowners.
This incredible outcome is the result of the dedication, hard work and donations made by countless Lake Oswego residents. As a community we came together in an unprecedented way to secure this critical funding for our schools. Together, we refocused on what our community values are, we raised the money necessary to fund the effort, we put up signs, we wrote letters, we talked with our neighbors and friends, we walked, we made phone calls and, most importantly, we voted yes.
It would be impossible to list everyone who contributed to the overwhelming success of our effort. I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to every person and every organization that helped.
Please take a moment to visit our website at lakeoswegoschoollevy.com and look over the list of key supporters whose contributions of time, talent and treasure went above and beyond. I hope you will join me in giving special thanks to these individuals, businesses and organizations for being champions for our school district and our community.
Chairwoman, Lake Oswego school levy campaign
Support offered for downtown proposal
Regarding the Wizer block development: Ive been amazed at how the Lake Oswego community has developed over the 30 years that Ive lived here. I have traveled much of this country and come to realize that few locations equal the beauty and comfort of our LO community.
Its my hope that we continue our careful development and improvements.
The evolving development plans of Mr. Wizer and the city (redevelopment agency) appear to carry forward the look and feel of our downtown area. One of the common threads of successful, vital communities is the balance between local businesses and residences.
The Wizer block plans, which I enthusiastically support, certainly address this issue.
Instead of streetcar, we are facing high density
I had high hopes for our city when voters selected a new mayor and council last fall.
But it seems only the names have been changed.
Now instead of a streetcar, we get a high-density apartment building in the very heart of Lake Oswego. We get 400 to 500 new residents (and their pets) with no place to park. We get a massive five-story structure on a block zoned for three stories. And we get a substantial influx of cars in an already-crowded city center.
I, for one, do not want my tax dollars subsidizing this project. Many of us have been looking forward to the redevelopment of the Wizer block. But this is not what we had in mind.
Mayor, council asked to honor campaign promises
Im appealing to Mayor Kent Studebaker and the city council to honor their campaign promises of preserving Lake Oswego as a small town with a village-like character and to oppose high-density infill.
These promises all conflict with Block 137 design. It appears to me that the developers interests have become more important to you than the concerns of your constituents.
Although many of us have supported Wizers for many years, I would venture a guess that many customers who are angry about this development as planned, might prefer to take their business elsewhere.
Change is hard ... but this project has been coming for 30 years
I am hearing the same negative voices that we heard during the debate over development of Lake View Village and has it not been a fabulous addition to our downtown?
Those who are lucky enough to live or work in the new development will greatly benefit our downtown retail and restaurant community. They will add more vitality and excitement to our core. They will rarely need to drive because everything will be in walking distance.
Change is hard for some, but this project has been coming for 30 years. It is time to make it happen.
Projects plans include many desirable amenities
Lake Oswegos downtown core is a hub for the community, but its sorely lacking one important element: high-end housing. The proposed Wizer block redevelopment is a chance to bring in new housing that will appeal to many residents who have grown up in the city, love it and want to return as they embark on their careers.
For many of Lake Oswegos busy young professionals, buying a house in the community in which they were raised is not feasible or desired. However, upscale apartments and condominiums are within reach as they establish their footing. The Wizer block is an ideal location with its proximity to the lake, retail shops, restaurants, grocery stores and other services. The projects plans include many desirable amenities that will attract residents who are committed to maintaining the quality of life for which Lake Oswego is known.
Rather than lose our young people to Portland or the outer suburbs, lets build our village to include the professionals who helped shape our community as children and who will serve as dedicated stewards of Lake Oswego well into the future.
Project is much too large in scale and density
I grew up in the Evergreen neighborhood and have just recently moved back with my wife and two children.
We were looking forward to living in a family-friendly neighborhood, in a place where our kids could safely walk and ride their bikes to downtown, to the library and to the lake.
We are concerned, now, about the proposed four- to five-story apartment building that will be built just a few blocks away. With 220-plus new residences, the density of our neighborhood will be increased by a factor of about 50 percent.
Whats more, the demographic of the Evergreen neighborhood will change as the new development would offer residences not for families, but primarily for seniors who want to downsize or for young singles. And finally, the traffic and parking on our neighborhood streets, especially Evergreen Road, is certain to increase, making streets less safe, especially for kids.
Though we are definitely not against the redevelopment of the Wizer block, we believe that this project is much too large in scale and density for our downtown and adjacent neighborhoods.
Project clearly seems like the best use of the space
As a resident of Lake Oswego, I would like to express my support for the Block 137 development proposed by the Evergreen Group (LLC). The design is attractive, but even more important is the potential economic impact, which would be considerable. In addition to the significantly increased property taxes, the city would benefit from a one-time construction excise tax that would provide a huge boost to the local school district. More jobs would be created, and the retail and dining destinations would also generate increased economic activity and attract spending to the area.
Some have complained that the proposed buildings are too big or just dont fit, but the designs respect the height and density requirements of the Lake Oswego building and development codes and incorporate the citys recommended architectural styles. The plans call for designs by world-class architects and construction using high-quality and sustainable materials and methods, meaning that the development should age well and contribute to the long-term revitalization of downtown Lake Oswego.
To me, this project clearly seems like the best use of the space.
Block 137 project is necessary for our community
I would like to voice my opinion and explain why I believe the Block 137 project is necessary for our community.
The development has the potential to provide downtown Lake Oswego with an economic boost, and will likely benefit many of the citys other businesses and residents. Im all for maintaining the current downtown aesthetics, which is why I am excited about the developments potential to bring new stores, restaurants and businesses. All of which ultimately means new jobs, revenue and taxes that will only enhance our village, not detract from it.
From the information Ive gathered, the proposed height of the Block 137 project is below Lake Oswegos city code and meets all planning requirements. We need to think about the future growth and expansion of our community.
Structure is all wrong for seniors, young children
Regarding the proposed four-story or (God forbid) even worse five-story Wizer apartment complex to accommodate (among others) senior citizens how interesting. Pictures of the proposed housing show buildings right up to the public commercial sidewalks. Seniors are planning to move in. So, just where is the extra space for the oversized transportation vehicles frequently needed by seniors for their medical and social needs?
The pictures I have seen all scream too much building (and) too little open space.
Gee, Mr. Wizer: Could it be that the developer and you care more about money than appropriate use of the land?
Apartments to house seniors and/or small children are not appropriate, or safe, when built adjacent to busy retail stores. The structure is all wrong and not safe for seniors and young children.
Think it through.
They wear little, loose uniforms,
An official, red logo
Stitched across the back.
I think of Spartan children
Given over to the warrior state.
The parents speak of confidence
And a dangerous world
Made safer by combat.
Uplands neighbors buildtrail on Twin Fir
Saturday morning a dozen Uplands neighborhood residents placed 6 cubic yards of gravel to create 225 feet of trail along Twin Fir Road.
The trail is located near the intersection of Fir Ridge. For years, folks walking here had to be in the roadway. Vehicles heading toward Boones Ferry Road had a limited view until immediately upon this point. Uplands resident Audrey Mattison worked with property owners for their approval and purchased the gravel.
This path should help our residents traverse the area more safely, said Brian Williams, project leader. Brian serves on the board of the neighborhood association and is focused on improving safety in Uplands.
Paul J. Lyons
Lake OswegoAdd a comment