Perhaps venturing beyond West Linn City Hall as a sole source of information might help your understanding of whether de novo is the root cause of West Linn’s constant planning and fiscal problems.

To believe your Jan. 24 opinion piece, “City’s appeal process is a waste of staff time and taxpayers’ money,” a person would have to also believe that the right to pursue justice by supplying facts can be nothing but frivolous. It would also be silly to think that eliminating de novo could rid the city of appeals.

While on West Linn planning’s chopping block five years in a row, staff has never quite (been) able to prove how adding pertinent fact to the record per de novo might create worse decisions or generate extra costs.

By allowing relevant facts possibly missed in the previous local hearing to be considered, de novo hearings promote better decisions on appeal.

Your statement “everything resets” is incorrect as far as I know because all codes, criteria and any extent that an application can be altered stays the same from the start.

De novo hearings are meant to prevent harm.

For example, facts revealed in the Holiday Inn de novo appeal revealed that fire safety standards had not been met.

Eliminating de novo would become a great disservice to anyone concerned about preserving public safety.

It’s a good thing West Linn has de novo. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Teri Cummings

Former city councilor

West Linn

Contract Publishing

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