For more than three decades, thousands upon thousands of dedicated politicians, citizens, businesses and county employees have created, revised and maintained a comprehensive plan, along with zoning and development ordinances.

These documents are the framework of land use in Clackamas County, protecting its citizens, businesses and natural resources. Under the guise of an “audit,” they are under attack.

On July 16, Clackamas County’s newly elected Chairman John Ludlow made 17 uniformed (uninformed?) decisions that could forever change industrial zones resulting in devastating impacts on citizens, transportation, health and safety. His echo, Tootie Smith, consistently agreed with all of Ludlow’s decisions. Commissioners Schrader, Bernard and Savas’ concerns fell on deaf ears, yet they didn’t have the conviction to stand up to Clackistan’s new dictator and apparently sole decision maker.

When county staff explained the Clackamas County Planning Commission’s more conservative recommendations, Ludlow’s response was: “They are only recommendations; we get lots of recommendations, even from CPOs. We can disagree without being disagreeable.”

The Clackamas County Planning Commission is a volunteer committee of nine experienced, diversified, caring and dedicated citizens in land use who spent well over a dozen hours studying, working with county staff, hearing testimony and discussing Clackamas County staff’s suggestions to revise business-park, light, general (heavy) and rural industrial zone ordinances. It was quite apparent in both the initial June 19 hearing and the July 16 study session that the county commissioners had not studied their information packets or read the planning commission’s recommendations and reasoning.

What can Clackamas County citizens look forward to?

n The utilization of limited industrial lands for high activity retail and commercial uses.

n The elimination of all review by Clackamas County of questionable, compatible or new industrial uses in all industrial zones lands.

n No citizen notice or involvement in industrial land use (regardless of Oregon’s Land Use Rule No. 1 - citizen involvement).

n Any and all industries allowed in all industrial zones with different rules by zone overseen by a severely under-budgeted code compliance department.

n The elimination of all responsibility of citizens’ health and safety with regard to the use and storage of hazardous waste.

n The elimination of hazardous waste safety measures next to the Clackamas River.

n The utilization of limited rural industrial lands for big businesses and Terry Emmert’s ever-growing storage of rundown homes.

The citizens of Clackamas County need to wake up, pay attention and get involved in what your elected officials are doing and, more importantly, not doing. We have a chairman whose responsibility is to preside over meetings, not dictate to other commissioners and the entire county, its citizens and businesses. This board has hundreds of dedicated volunteers who give up their free time to provide valuable input. We have county staff that is recommending hands-off changes that eliminate responsible management and care of the ordinances that make our county safe, effective, beautiful and a wonderful place to live.

The final decisions were set to be made at a Board of County Commissioners hearing at 9:30 a.m. on July 24.

Visit Martha Schrader, Jim Bernard, Paul Savas, Tootie Smith and/or John Ludlow at 2051 Kaen Road, Oregon City, or call them at 503-655-8581 or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tammy Stevens is chairwoman of the Beavercreek Community Planning Organization and last month resigned from the Clackamas County Planning Commission.

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