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Voters: Should the city expand?

Adding 130 acres to the city will be on the May 15 ballot

Officials and staff members of the city of Sandy want to annex about 130 acres to the city, but the decision must be made by registered voters.

The proposal, which will be on the May 15 primary ballot, is to attach the expansive and diverse Sandy River Park to the city without enclosing it in the city's urban growth boundary.

The parkland, which includes eight parcels of land at the end of Marcy Street, is adjacent to the current city limits on the south and west, according to Planning Director Tracy Brown.

The park is currently in the unincorporated county and is zoned 'timber,' Brown said. The city will take its largest city park under its wing and assign 'parks and open space' zoning, a new zone that becomes effective today, April 4, for Sandy River Park and future city parks.

Councilor Jeremy Pietzold requested annexation of the park since the park links the city and the river with the same name, said Parks Director Nancy Enabnit. The rest of the city councilors agreed and voted in favor at a recent meeting.

If a simple majority of voters affirm the annexation request, the land outside the UGB could become the jurisdiction of the city. All that's required after the balloting is a vote of confirmation by the council and a change of the city's Comprehensive Plan and its zoning map.

If the park becomes part of the city, the Sandy Police Department would assume responsibility for law enforcement - rather than the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department.

Annexing the park, Enabnit said, is not part of the Parks Master Plan, but that will have no negative effect on the process.

'The Parks Master Plan was completed in 1997,' she said. 'At that time we didn't even own the Sandy River Park.

'But it is a Parks Board goal to update the master plan this year.'

The initial purchase of land that would become the park was made possible through a Local Government Grant using lottery dollars and administered through Oregon State Parks.

Groups that have contributed funds and labor to develop the park include The Nature Conservancy; Sandy River Basin Watershed Council; Clackamas County; Oregon Department of Forestry; the Mount Hood National Forest; Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board; SOLV; Mt. Hood Community College; Bureau of Land Management; Sandy High School; Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

The park measure on the May 15 ballot is Measure 3-399.

For more information, call Brown at 503-668-4886.