Plant expansion is a land use issue
- Robert Stowell
- West Linn Tidings - Opinion
After reading the article in last week's Tidings on the Lake Oswego Tigard water treatment plant expansion, I felt it is time to respond.
First, no one has suggested the project be put to a vote, although that is not a bad idea even if it were possible. The issue was the pipeline going through land owned by the city must be put to a vote.
I do understand that city codes must be followed. However, let me quote from our CDC, chapter 60, on conditional use permits, 'The Planning Commission may impose conditions on its approval of a conditional use which it finds are necessary to assure the use is compatible with other uses in the vicinity. These conditions may include, but are not limited to the following…' I will not list those. My point is that they can impose other requirements not in the code.
Chris Kerr and Chris Jordan compare this to the police station. I do not agree. The police station will serve West Linn. The expansion of the water treatment plant will not offer anything new to West Linn. We already have the intertie, so no improvement there.
I understand a conditional use usually offers something of value to the neighborhood and city. By the way, interties are all over the metro area. We will have no more storage with this expansion.
The comment was made about West Linn's water from the plant in Oregon City.
The jointly owned plant in Oregon City supplies water to both communities. We have a very unique situation because we were unable to locate any place where a shared treatment plant was placed in a community that did not receive water from it.
Jordan states all the help the city has given. First, there were two meetings with a city planner and a presentation on conditional use permits at the Robinwood Neighborhood Association meeting. The RNA requested an outside planner. We were told any further help from the planning department would compromise the city on this issue. If it weren't for some city council members, we wouldn't have planners on the 19th. Is this fair?
This project should be a land use issue. It should go through hearings for a zone change not a conditional use. This plant was built when this area was in the county. From my understanding, the Robinwood area would have annexed to Lake Oswego in the future. Marylhurst stood in the way and we were annexed to West Linn.
Don't you think West Linn is being asked to give up enough to Lake Oswego considering they didn't have the courtesy to ask us to the table on the streetcar and wanting to take over the highway for their benefit and nothing for us?
West Linn doesn't have the money to maintain our streets the way they need to be, let alone take care of Highway 43.
Lake Oswego has the space in the Foothills area to place this plant. The problem, it doesn't fit their grandiose plans for that area.
Come on West Linn elected council; stand up for us, the ones who pay the bills.
Robert Stowell is a West Linn resident.