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Readers' Letters


Process stalling LOT decision

It’s a bad thing West Linn has de novo.

I had never even heard of de novo until the planning commission’s decision was appealed to the council. This was not the case when I served on the council in the mid 80s.

I completely disagree with Teri Cummings. We are among a very few cities with de novo I know of. If the city had been working on the old way, this process involving LOT’s water project could have been completed some time ago. The appeal would have been on the record only. No new evidence could have been introduced at the council level. The matter would have been remanded back to the planning commission for further hearings.

What’s the point of having a planning commission if the council is going to start the process over again?

What is now taking place is bargaining back and forth between the applicant and the council and leaving the public little chance to respond adequately, thus giving the applicant an unfair advantage. The goalpost keeps changing between the city council and LOT, prolonging the process.

With the help of the mayor, the process is dragging on. It appeared to be deliberate move on his part giving LOT more chances to change and pry the door open.

Get it over with and up hold the planning commission’s decision.

Robert Stowell

West Linn

Serve West Linn, not Lake Oswego and Tigard

Open letter to Mayor Kovash: In your statement during the Jan. 28 West Linn City Council meeting you spoke of the economic benefits as the basis for your decision to vote in favor of the expansion of the LOT water treatment facility and pipeline.

You cited that we would get valuable emergency water through the intertie. If the application is approved, then starting in 2026, this emergency water agreement will begin to go away and will completely end in 2041. Why would you vote to end our current emergency water source and put the city at risk? You cited a one-time payment of a $5 million franchise fee that has been put forth as a benefit. Franchise fees are not a benefit. They are net neutral and intended to pay for the property rights and risk incurred by the community.

If we use franchise fee negotiated with PGE as the basis, then LOT should pay more than $10 million and after 10 years we should be able to renegotiate a higher fee. Why would you vote to give away West Linn property rights?

You cited that the businesses on Highway 43 will not suffer unduly and will be able to continue as normal. You ignore your own business community that has brought credible reports that claim the opposite. Why would you vote to harm our community businesses?

Mayor Kovash, you are ignoring your own planning commission, the businesses and citizens who all have come out against this project. Do you serve in the best interests of the citizens of West Linn or in the best interests of the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership? I urge you to reconsider and vote “no” on the LOT application.

Randall Fastabend

West Linn