The city will hold a public hearing Sept. 26 and invites other property owners to join in

TIGARD - Making a pre-emptive strike before the Washington County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to put the incorporation of Bull Mountain on the November ballot, the city of Tigard took matters into its own collective hands.

On Monday the city mailed notices to property owners who could be affected by a Sept. 26 public hearing to consider the annexation of 41.41 acres that would otherwise be included within the boundary of the city of Bull Mountain if that measure is approved in the fall.

The affected area, called the Cach Creek Annexation, consists of 12 parcels adjoining and west of Sunrise Lane and north of Bull Mountain Road. It includes the actual Sunrise Lane right of way from the intersection of that street and 147th Terrace west for about 1,200 feet and north for another 1,630 feet.

The area includes the Menlor reservoir site, property owned by the Trust for Public Lands, the Cach Natural Area and the Cach property, which the city recently purchased for another reservoir site.

It also includes two new properties that were not previously included in the city's recent request to Washington County to change the boundary of the proposed city of Bull Mountain to eliminate sites either owned or controlled by Tigard.

Both John Noffz of Brentwood Homes, a Bull Mountain subdivision now under review, and Jon Dyer requested to be included in the possible annexation, and their properties are part of the 41.41 site.

Both were unavailable for comment Wednesday.

About 20 to 22 owners of properties contiguous to the proposed annexation area were sent notices of the public hearing asking if they want to join in, which is common city practice, Community Development Director Tom Coffee said Wednesday.

'We always do it,' he said. 'There's no fee required by doing it this way. But people must let us know by Aug. 22, and then the City Council will decide if their properties should be included.'

To pave the way for the incorporation effort to proceed, the council Tuesday voted 4-0 to amend two intergovernmental agreements with Washington County: the urban planning area agreement and the Tigard urban services agreement.

County counsel determined that provisions in the agreements could form a basis for legal challenges to the incorporation process, according to Coffee.

As a result, the city was asked to approve amendments to the agreements removing the conflicting language.

Mayor Craig Dirksen pointed out that the city could stop the incorporation process by appealing the issue to Metro or it could jeopardize the effort by appealing to the state Land Use Board of Appeals or failing to amend the agreements with the county.

However, he added that the city has no intention of taking those steps.

'Sometimes it's difficult to stay on the high road,' Dirksen said.

Lisa Hamilton-Treick, who is a director of the political action committee, Residents for Bull Mountain Incorporation, wasn't impressed.

'(The city's action) creates a highly irregular boundary,' she said. 'This reflects extremely badly on the city of Tigard.'

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