Let's get it right the first time
The Downtown Redevelopment District Design Standards Purpose says that it ... is to guide redevelopment of downtown Lake Oswego in a manner that creates a feeling of vitality and sense of place . . . and creates a community center that reflects and enhances the character of the city of Lake Oswego (italics mine). Further, under No. 4 of the Standard, village character means a community of small-scale structures . . . that attract people to the downtown (bold and italics mine). Block 138 creates just the specified community center effect that we now enjoy. Block 137 as planned will sink this noble purpose.
Please help me understand why the present building design so grossly contradicts that intent. It just does not fit. I could not find a parking space in four levels of the Block 138 garage in August to visit the farmers market. I went home.
And, the re-do plan will increase density not with just apartment renters and condo owners, but their friends and relatives and the traffic they will bring.
I lost track of how many times the word massive was used in last weeks op-ed pieces in the Lake Oswego Review to describe the proposed Wizer block redevelopment. With the increased traffic and parking problems, can you say gridlock?
Why did the design firm submit such a behemoth concept to begin with? Do you think money may be at play? Then, why has city council ignored its own planning code? Why make an exception to a code, the authors of which deemed to be sound and reasonable when written?
Councilor Jeff Gudman, whom I have met and respect, replied to a July 25, 2013, email by my wife that expressed concern about the Wizer block redevelopment plan. He stated Mr. Wizer, with city encouragement, has tried for many years to develop the property. ... I think you will agree, the block should be redeveloped. The challenge is finding the right balance between the desires/needs of the owner and desires/needs of the city. Fair enough in principle, so long as the needs of the city include consideration for the needs of its residents.
I understand the owners desire to sell the property, and the need to redevelop it. I realize it has taken a while to secure a redevelopment proposal. Still, those having voted on, and whom in the future will vote on the Wizer redevelopment plan, need bear in mind that they should not be voting solely on their or their voting block prerogatives, but rather with a strong dose of what Lake Oswego residents desire.
There is a saying that there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over. Lets get it right the first time, as we will not have time nor money to do it over if Block 137 is developed as currently planned.
If you have not read it already, take a look at Tana Haynes piece in the Oct. 24 citizens view column. It speaks volumes about whats wrong with this deal.
Mr. Mayor, city councilors and Lake Oswego Development Review Commission: Please listen to your constituents. They are your customers. They would not buy this concept if it were a product or service.
Patrick Haar, Lake Oswego, is the past president of the Oswego Hills Condominium Association.
Add a comment