On Jan. 28 the West Linn City Council continued its LOT appeal. Two councilors opposed the appeal. One councilor and the mayor were in favor of the appeal.

In my opinion, it should have gone back to the planning commission’s denial. Mayor Kovash, whose argument became an impertinent despotic decree in an effort to intimidate the crowd by arduously supporting this proposal, was nonetheless nothing short of misfortune askance adversity.

LOT preponderates that its project is a regional benefit. Well, how contritely ambitious of them! Why refute LOT appeal, I ask? Here are a few more reasons:

1. The site has a low, flat and stagnant subsurface. In a 2004 study, West Linn consultants indicated three active creeks running in this entire area. The subsurface decayed matter can become hazardous radon gas. So adding massive concrete structures with tons of water capacity, these radon gases will be kept from dissipating in a safe manner. However, if houses are built with adequate spacing (lots large enough), this hazardous gas can escape. Plus, these lots would provide tax revenues for the city when subdivided.

2. Site location — the current proposal is a covetous enterprise. The character of LOT Attorney Mr. Sullivan and his rebuttal to the citizens of West Linn was hostile and he treated their testimony as unimportant. He was out of order and discriminating. Mr. Sullivan also assured the council that this proposal would safely withstand a 9-point-magnitude earthquake. As an attorney, Mr. Sullivan does not qualify as an expert on soil, geology and geomorphology.

Here are factual consequences in recent times:

6-point-magnitude earthquake — damages structures and causes crevasses, slides, etc.

7-point-magnitude earthquake — does all of the above, plus causes fires, floods, surging water and more.

8.8-point-magnitude (as in Japan) demolished 220,000 homes and destroyed the nuclear concrete power plants designed to withstand the forces of natural quakes of this magnitude.

9-point-magnitude — annihilates everything in its path.

We just recently experienced subsurface movements at lower magnitudes such as 3 to 5 occurring from three to five miles below the surface capable of causing damage such as the recent Amboy, Wash., quake felt all the way to Beaverton and the surrounding suburbs of the Portland metropolitan area.

In January, six different quakes were registered all along the Pacific coastline starting from Alaska and traveling down through Oregon. With LOT officials reassuring citizens that their structures are designed to withstand such earthquakes, I have concluded they haven’t done their homework.

The West Linn Utility Advisory Board’s meticulous studies were stalled by West Linn City Council and became meaningless in its efforts to solve our own water system. They even condemned the planning commission’s hard work and effort toward its decision on the LOT water plant proposal.

The citizens need to know that our planning commission is appointed from the ranks of our community to represent us in good faith with their knowledge and effort. It is an affront that our mayor would ignore and demean their work in an attempt to forward his own agenda on LOT’s behalf, regardless of what we are telling the council. The planning commission was unanimous in its decision to say “no” to this proposal. We, on the other hand, must stay responsible, involved and fight the LOT plans.

Alice Richmond is a resident of West Linn.

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