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$40,000 approved for Robinwood Station consultant

Community Center will remain open during ongoing permitting process


The City Council approved two motions related to the Robinwood Station Community Center on Monday, one earmarking $40,000 for the city to hire a consultant to help complete a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application, and the other to allow the center to remain open during the permitting process.

The Friends of Robinwood Station (FORS) will now hire a consultant and oversee the work. Beyond the $40,000 approved by the council Monday, an additional $10,000 will come from the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership as part of the original conditions of approval for work done in West Linn, and the city will also waive its own permitting fees which are estimated at $10,000.

In total, the design and application process is estimated to cost $60,000, according to Assistant City Manager Kirsten Wyatt.

Per council direction, the city will allow the station to continue to operate without a permit until the land use process is complete, or until May 31, 2016 — whichever comes first.

With the intention of forming a permanent community center, the Friends of Robinwood Station (FORS) group in 2010 acquired approval from the City Council to manage Robinwood Station, a former fire hall, in cooperation with the city’s parks and recreation department. When the city issued a temporary use permit in 2011, the understanding was that the group would apply for a conditional use permit within a year.

When that did not happen, the FORS group was granted an extension through June 2013. Because the community development code allows temporary use permits to last for a maximum of just two years, the continued use of the station was contingent on a permanent permit.

In July 2013, the City Council agreed to allow the station to continue to operate despite the expiration of the temporary use permit. A formal CUP application was submitted Aug. 2013, but since then the station has operated without a CUP as city staff awaited direction from the council.

This past March, the council came to a general agreement that the CUP application should move forward, but there were a number of questions regarding financial concerns, code requirements and city priorities.

The latest estimates from the city, which were presented in April to the council, showed that the necessary renovations to bring the community center up to code could total as much as $726,900. As Jordan pointed out, that estimate did not include building permits, systems development charges or the necessary improvements to meet LEED Silver standards.

The council’s hope is that an outside consultant will help clarify those costs, allowing the city and FORS to consider the next steps.

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