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Council: Uphold water plant decision

The West Linn Planning Commission on Nov. 1 voted unanimously to deny the water treatment plant expansion and pipeline proposed by the cities of Lake Oswego and Tigard.

After several meetings and multiple hours of testimony and questions, the planning commission found that the proposal did not provide sufficient benefit to the city of West Linn. In addition, they called upon the city to deal head on with its water issues and not put our water fate in the hands of this questionable project.

I applaud this decision as it was not an easy one, and the commissioners stood up to pressure from their own staff and the applicants and voted in favor of the best interests of the people of West Linn. They truly heard the voice of the people, but also through their questions and intelligent study of the issues clearly interpreted that this proposal did not meet the applicable codes required for this permit.

While Lake Oswego and Tigard feel that they did meet the codes, it really is about intent and interpretation of those codes. I would suggest that the West Linn Planning Commission might have a better handle on how those codes are relevant to our city than LOT does. LOT’s next move will be to appeal this to our city council. In doing so, they will try to discredit the planning commission’s 7-0 vote against them and to convince our council to override that decision.

The planning commission approached its decision with thought and foresight. Now I would ask our city council to do the same. In fact, this project does little to benefit the city of West Linn and does a great deal to harm it. Yes, we have water issues, but we need to solve them in a more proactive way as opposed to the temporary and conditional Band-Aid that LOT is offering as a so-called “benefit.” The planning commission and the citizens of West Linn have stated loud and clear that this project is inappropriate and should not be used as a convenient “fix” for West Linn’s water future.

I urge the city council to follow the lead of our planning commission and support the decision to deny this project. Furthermore I call upon the citizens of West Linn to contact our council members and mandate that they stand behind the commission’s decision.

Scott Gerber is a resident of West Linn.




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