City called on to be transparent over the LAMP project
- Morris J. Fealy
- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
In a past meeting, the city council voted 4-2 against inclusion of the Luscher properties within the Urban Growth Boundary. Yet, the revised LAMP plan indicates it is still the intent to incorporate elements requiring inclusion within the UGB.
The LAMP project manager has affirmed that the inclusion of the Luscher Properties within the UBC is a backbone of the master plan. Yet Parks and Recreation chooses not to disclose these intentions.
The director of P and R must unequivocally clarify that LAMP is exempted, without reservation, from all UGB consideration, present and future, or disclose that it is the intent of P and R to facilitate inclusion of the Luscher properties within the UGB.
Costs and Financing
No budget, costing of features, financing options, and annual operating cost is included in LAMP.
It is financially irresponsible to develop a master plan without a comprehensive statement of costs and a clear explanation of financing options and long-term expense to be borne by the residents of Lake Oswego.
Concepts for ball parks, grass plots and forest elements:
The demographics used to justify the need for ballparks are 10 years out of date.
Why are appropriate demographics just now being generated and not at the initiation of the planning process? Bait and switch?
Lake Oswego touts sustainability, but creating an event park within the Luscher complex, forest clusters utilizing conifers, not the indigenous valley savanna Oregon White Oak, is a planning travesty. Maintenance costs of a high-traffic venue and hard surface pathways reflect an inherent disregard of the scope and intent of the initial use commitments made to Rudy Luscher before his death.
Lake Oswego has a uniquely special open space at Luscher Farm, a truly one-of-a-kind natural environment, a treasure most communities would move to protect. Tigard, at Cook Park, with the Butterfly Gardens and Natural Prairie restoration and Wilsonville, with the wetlands and savanna restoration project, are examples Lake Oswego should emulate. Instead, the LAMP plan chooses to go the opposite direction with an event complex venue, for staging large scale events and marginalizing the natural beauty of the properties.
Ignoring the council mandate with non-disclosure of the UGB intent, and avoidance of financial disclosure are simply unprofessional, irresponsible and unacceptable courses of action.
July was the wrap-up date for community input to the plan. But in early July it was disclosed that a co-chair of a P and R Advisory Board utilized access to privileged and confidential information on citizen input preferences to alert his special interest group. Citing the specific survey stats, a broad-based email campaign was implemented to change the course of citizen input.
These acts reflect a blatant breach of personal and professional ethics and integrity. The survey validity was directly compromised; the integrity of the process violated; the ethical credibility of the survey intent irreparably damaged. Status update of the survey, now a month later, silence.
Mr. Mayor, members of the city council, Mr. City Manager: The citizens of Lake Oswego deserve full transparency and complete disclosure before going forward with LAMP.
Presumably there is a city code of conduct for governance of city activities. Such code should be revisited while defining the standards establishing the highest levels of ethics and integrity in effective governance-
Should the citizens of Lake Oswego expect anything less?
Morris J. Fealy is a resident of Lake Oswego.
Editor's note: Christine Kirk, public affairs manager for the city of Lake Oswego, responds: 'There are two plans under way to help direct our parks, open spaces and natural areas - the Luscher Farm Master Plan and the Parks Master Plan:
n 'The Luscher Area Master Plan (LAMP) is to create a plan for 146 acres, in the Stafford area, purchased for parks, recreation and open space. An assumption for LAMP from the outset of the planning process, articulated in public and council meetings, is that the plan will be implemented if and when the city decides to bring these properties inside the UGB. The recent vote of the council was to not utilize a legislative process available within a short window of time. The council felt that there was no reason to rush or move away from the normal UGB process.
n 'The LAMP process is approximately 50 percent complete. The plan will include cost estimates, phasing recommendations, and funding options.
n 'An update of the 2001 field analysis study is included in the Parks Plan 2025 process. The council wants the outcome of this study first to inform decisions relating to fields in the LAMP.
n 'Recently, there was a public comment period (not a statistically valid survey) to see if the new proposals, in response to public input, appropriately addressed the desired changes. Steps have been taken to address the misuse of information that occurred.
n 'The LAMP vision is informed by legal restrictions on the property, public input and the land itself. An event space proposed for the LAMP is intended to accommodate occasional community events, in an area that will remain open fields not manicured turf. The LAMP proposes to remove invasive plant species, improve habitat along stream corridors and wetlands, and return areas to native grass and meadows.
'The LAMP timeline is being adjusted to match council's direction on getting more information before moving further on LAMP. More information can be found at www.ci.oswego.or.us/parksrec/PRANA.htm.'