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West Linn City Council adopts 2016 goals

Arch Bridge, hiring of new city manager among highlights

One year ago, when the West Linn City Council adopted its 2015 goals, one major piece was missing: the Arch Bridge Area planning project.

The 2015 council agreed to take the project off its goal list while it worked to settle disagreements about process. On Monday, when the council approved its 2016 goals, the Arch Bridge returned near the top of the list, along with several other new items.

Of course, the top priority for 2016 will be hiring a new city manager for the first time since 2005. Former City Manager Chris Jordan resigned in August, leaving a hole that has been temporarily filled by Interim City Manager Don Otterman.

Specifically, the council committed to “involve citizens in the search and interview process so it includes community values,” while also providing “frequent status updates” until a new city manager is hired.

Beyond filling that position, the council will also spend 2016 working to “refine Arch Bridge area master planning”; research a potential fiber network in West Linn; become an “active regional partner” in transportation issues; address code changes; find the best uses for underutilized City properties; and “prioritize community outreach.”

Regarding the Arch Bridge, the council goals further outline a plan to “reengage (a) contract to hold property owner meetings, community engagement, neighborhood association outreach, and town hall meetings to prepare potential development alternatives and examine zoning options and other potential measures to preserve property values and meet long-term planning goals.”

Once those alternatives are developed, the council hopes to determine a cost for acquiring properties in the area.

Meanwhile, the council will continue to pursue funding for various transportation projects — specifically on Highway 43 and Interstate 205 — while making an effort to “participate in all regional transportation committees and opportunities.”

Regarding code changes, the council will work with the city’s planning commission as well as City staff and — potentially — specialized task forces to address where city codes need refinement.

In a charge from years past, the Robinwood Station will be addressed separately from other “underutilized” city properties, as the council wishes to discuss a possible transfer of ownership to the Friends of Robinwood Station (FORS) group. Other properties like the old police station and Bolton Fire Station will be addressed by the City Property Task Force.

Finally, the City will work to “reengage” the Commission on Citizen Involvement to address community engagement, while also creating new high school and middle school youth councils.

In 2015, 17 of the council’s 26 written goals were marked complete by the end of the year.

Among the highlights of the completed goals were locating and obtaining land use approval for a new Bolton Reservoir, conducting focus groups and creating new financial incentives for business districts, forming a task force on city-owned properties and conducting town hall meetings.

Patrick Malee can be reached at 503-636-1281 Ext. 106 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..