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Stafford site to be home of 2013 Street of Dreams

A roughly 55-acre site in the unincorporated Stafford area will be home to next year’s NW Natural Street of Dreams.

Stonehenge, a 12-acre, 12-lot subdivision near Tualatin, is being promoted for its “sunset views over the hills of Lake Oswego.”

The subdivision sits across Rosemont Road from Oswego Hills Winery. A new street called Stonehenge Terrace will lead to the development from Whitten Lane. Seven or eight of the homes built there will likely be featured in next year’s luxury home tour, set to begin near the beginning of August 2013.

Nancy Haskin, vice president of membership, events and education for the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, which puts on the event, said the site stood out during the selection process, beating another top contender in Happy Valley, because of its location and large lots.

“It’s very hard to find acre lots that are close in, in this area,” she said. For comparison, the homes featured in this year’s Street of Dreams in West Linn sit on 10,000-square-foot lots — less than a quarter-acre each. “We’re very excited about having houses that can have a little room to run around.”

The ample space also means event parking can be offered on-site so Street of Dreams coordinators won’t have to provide shuttles to and from the show.

The property is owned by Charles Hoff, who spent years fighting for the right to develop the land. Eventually, he won that right through Oregon’s Measure 37, a law requiring government agencies to allow landowners to develop under the rules in place when they bought their property or to pay them for the value lost as a result of newer zoning restrictions.

So, although Hoff’s project wouldn’t typically be allowed — Clackamas County’s exclusive, farm-use zone has a minimum lot size of 80 acres — the county signed off on the project earlier this year.

The Stonehenge estates will take up just a portion of the roughly 55 acres Hoff owns in the area, where the prospect of dense residential or commercial development has seen more than a decade of debate. Although the regional government has designated the Stafford and Borland area between Lake Oswego, Tualatin and West Linn for eventual urban-scale development, the cities of Tualatin and West Linn have hired attorneys to fight it.

But as far as Ken Olson of Trillium Development is concerned, the Stonehenge site is ripe for development, as it sits between cities, flanks a freeway and is on the edge of West Linn’s city limits. “It should have been developed a long time ago,” said Olson, who is marketing the Stonehenge lots.

The location, which faces southwest, will offer sunset views, he said. And because the area remains rural in nature, Stonehenge will be able to offer wide, level grounds to build on. “A lot of people want to spread out,” Olson said. “It’s more of a lifestyle for people who don’t necessarily want to have an upstairs. ... If you want a big house, you can do that, too; with 3,500 to 4,000 square feet, you can do a single level.”

That means residents can “have room for your RV garage ... and still have a classy, $1.2 million type of home,” he added.

While only 12 acres of the site will be built on now, the subdivision could grow if developers obtain public water and sewer services. The initial development will rely on wells for water and septic systems.

Herb Koss, another developer involved in the project, said eventual zoning changes could allow the lots to break into additional parcels. For now, those prospective new building sites will offer landowners prime space for gardening, he said. “A person can live close to town and still have their own flowers and vegetables on their own property,” Koss said. “These lots will be tailored for people who want a lot of yard around them.”

But because it’s outside of the urban growth boundary, the subdivision can only tap water sources also outside of the UGB, Koss said. He believes Lake Oswego could provide water because it already pipes some outside of the boundary. A water line would only have to be extended by about 4,000 feet, by his estimates.

At the same time, from an environmental perspective, Koss said, “We would prefer not to drill wells.”

“We have to drill wells fairly deep to get water,” — likely about 400 feet deep, he said. “If you’re surrounded by public water and if this area at some point will be urbanized, it makes sense not to drill the wells and to use public water. It’s a common sense approach.”

So far, Lake Oswego and West Linn have denied requests for water services to the site.




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