I’m a member of a local neighborhood association board. I was born into a home in this area 70 years ago, and have maintained a connection with it ever since. I am its owner and resident.

The proposed Wizer block redevelopment project is, by far, the worst concept regarding new development here I can conceive of, in light of maintaining the local character.

As an investor, I have owned a number of commercial/industrial properties in the Metro area, none of which affected the areas in which they were located (including those with residences on one or more sides) like the proposed project will.

Also, having been involved in building materials manufacturing and distribution for most of my adult life, I have seen plans for literally thousands of proposed projects. None has been so imposing, overtaking and detrimental to the character of such a village.

I know Mr. Wizer and have had a number of good conversations with him over the years. But, that’s not enough to cause me to overlook the deleterious impact his proposed development will have on the character of Oswego.

As the project has a (full-block) footprint with no setbacks, it will simply take over the character of its environs and the entire downtown area.

Several similar development projects are “waiting in the wings”! Letting this one (or one of the others) “break the ice” and proceed will absolutely destroy the character and intimate livability of the area, as they will totally overpower the entire downtown area, destroying its village character, and the city center, forever.

Downtown Oswego is not do wntown Seattle, LA or Vancouver, B.C., nor do most of us want it to be. Many valuable local residents have moved away from those environments, and might well move away from Oswego, if this project and/or others like it are allowed to proceed. We don’t need “Big Box” stores or complexes.

The project simply should not be tolerated. It should be scaled back to two, and absolutely not more than three stories high, along A Avenue (including any visible roof), and be set back from First and Second streets and A Avenue a minimum of 30 feet.

If all of this is done and compatible architectural design elements are used, I feel it can become a treasured “resident” of the town.

Barring compliance with all of these concepts, it (and any and all similar, planned projects) will be an eyesore, and dictate the future of the downtown area, causing it to descend into an area to be avoided, at all costs.

I sincerely hope Mr. Wizer will come to think more about the town which has given him his wealth, look less at his bountiful pocketbook and revise the project significantly and that the council will prohibit this obnoxious structure being thrust into our midst.

There are other, better design options for the block that will not cause the effects this project design will have, and still be very profitable.

William Gilmer is a resident of Lake Oswego.

Contract Publishing

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