Conditions include $5 million payment and perpetual intertie

by: SUBMITTED - This is a rendering of a proposed public path running along the water treatment plant in the Robinwood neighborhood.With a laundry list of conditions, the West Linn City Council approved the final orders and findings of the Lake Oswego-Tigard water treatment plant and its pipeline during a special meeting Monday.

The council unanimously overturned the West Linn Planning Commission’s denial of the two projects during its Feb. 11 meeting.

The conditional use permit process of the highly contested projects began in earnest last spring for the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership (LOT).

The councilors all agreed the projects were a benefit to the community, including the cities of Lake Oswego and Tigard. The city council conducted two nights of public hearings Jan. 14 and 15 to collect community comments on the water treatment plant expansion and pipeline proposals.

Back on Nov. 1, the planning commission unanimously voted to deny the two conditional use permits, mainly due to lack of community benefit to West Linn. LOT appealed the decision in December to the city council.

Lake Oswego has operated a water treatment plant at 4260 Kenthorpe Way in West Linn’s Robinwood neighborhood since 1968. In cooperation with the city of Tigard, Lake Oswego wants to expand the plant and build a new pipeline to address the future water needs of both cities.

The plant, which will hold up to 2 million stored gallons of water underground and handle up to 38 million gallons each day, also serves as an emergency backup water supply for West Linn.

Along with a new plant, the project involves the installation of a 4-foot-diameter pipeline from the Clackamas River through West Linn and into Lake Oswego. The pipeline, which will be broken into four construction phases, will extend 1.9 miles in West Linn, crossing though both residential and commercial areas.

The council added 19 conditions of approval to the pipeline permit and 23 conditions to the water plant permit.

Though the planning commission deemed the pipeline and water plant proposals were not consistent with the “overall needs of the community” and that the sites were not suitable to accommodate the projects, the city council found otherwise.

According to the pipeline findings, there were concerns about the impacts during construction, traffic, noise, environmental impacts and earthquake hazards. To mitigate those concerns, the council is mandating safety, traffic and management plans, street restoration, pipeline replacement on Mapleton Drive, and a new waterline connection and installation of a third pump at the pump station at 20255 Old River Road.

Additional pipeline conditions include conveying ownership of the old transmission lines to West Linn, an intergovernmental agreement for the emergency water intertie that will not expire and a one-time license fee of $5 million to be used for West Linn water system improvements.

Key concerns about the water plant in the findings include transportation, traffic mitigation, noise, building design, public safety and construction management.

Water plant conditions of approval include implementation of the Good Neighbor Plan, a hazardous materials plan, noise mitigation, street improvements on Mapleton Drive and Kenthorpe Way, a construction management plan, limiting the size of the clear well to 2 million gallons and the contribution of $10,000 to the Robinwood Community Center.

It is now up to the cities of Lake Oswego and Tigard to move on the permits and up to the residents of West Linn to appeal to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals. Anyone with standing can appeal to LUBA within 21 days of the notice of the final order, and LOT has three years to act on the approval. One group of West Linn residents have already stated their intention to appeal the projects.

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