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Some letter writers say oppose outside influences on Happy Valley, others oppose Prestige Care development

The Altamont neighborhood is opposing this annexation and is NOT even in the city of Happy Valley. They found proxies within Happy Valley to get this on the ballot and force this election on us.

PHOTO BY RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Brooding clouds and stunning views greet visitors to the proposed site of Prestige Senior Living on the eve of its annexation request before Happy Valley voters.They don't pay Happy Valley taxes, they are not Happy Valley voters, and if they want a say in our city's affairs, then they should annex themselves.

My wife, Candi, and I are supporting a YES vote on M3-518 to stop their outside influence!

I have a flier from the Altamont neighborhood group that is opposing M3-518.

Everything they claim is hidden behind a "We are worried about seniors" cover story. But does this quote from the flier sound like "concern" for seniors?

"The neighborhood will have to endure seven emergency vehicle trips per month."

Endure? They will have to "endure" vehicles providing emergency care to senior citizens? Oh, the horror. Anyone living near a main street or fire station "endures" that many trips in A DAY. We call that living in a decent community and "enduring" the fact our neighbors sometimes need help from emergency responders.

Whether I know them or not, if someone I share Happy Valley with needs help, I am certainly fine with the fire department driving past my house. The Altamont neighborhood objecting to having to "endure" it says a lot about them.

After reading this flier and the other statements I have seen from the Altamont group, it is fine with me if they don't want to join my city of Happy Valley. I think I would rather have the folks in the new senior-living center as neighbors anyway, so I will vote yes for M3-518.

Jerry Hoemberg

Happy Valley citizen

Vote no on Measure 3-518

As a retired senior, I oppose the annexation of a parcel of land in the middle of the Altamont neighborhood (unincorporated Clackamas County) by the city of Happy Valley and the plan to build a massive commercial senior care facility. The site is unsafe and inappropriate.

Upper Johnson Creek Boulevard is closed during snow and ice events. Accidents and treacherous driving conditions are well documented. Numerous incidents have occurred over the past several years and in two cases, ambulances refused to respond. In others service was significantly delayed.

I support senior residential and home health care options but not when it presents potential harm to life.

This was meant to be a fast-track annexation and rezoning but it lacked good planning and communication with the adjacent low-density residential neighborhood it impacts. Citizen concerns were ignored and it was quickly approved by City Council.

Imagine how you would feel when timely emergency services were delayed for your loved one.

Imagine how you would feel having a massive commercial facility operating 24-7 located next to your home.

Imagine how you would feel when you're unable to visit your family member or report to work due to road closure and impassable driving conditions.

Imagine the increased, round-the-clock traffic in your residential neighborhood.

Thanks to dedicated neighborhood volunteers, over 1,300 concerned citizens in Happy Valley signed petitions to place the measure on the ballot.

I urge you to vote NO on Measure #3-518 to stop a poor land-use planning and annexation decision that puts seniors at risk, increases local traffic, and negatively impacts the integrity of a quiet residential neighborhood.

Lynne St. Jean

Altamont

Support our city, vote yes

We are new residents to the city of Happy Valley and have recently annexed ourselves.

We appreciate the services that Happy Valley provides and were willing to annex and help pay our fair share of Happy Valley's city taxes, in turn to have a vote and a voice in the city.

We support our city and their willingness to accept new residents. Please vote yes on Measure 3-518 to allow annexations.

Robin & Ed Newton

Happy Valley citizens

Oppose all annexations

I voted no on Happy Valley Ballot Measure 3-518, annexation of property at Johnson Creek Boulevard and Bristol Park Drive and I recommend that Happy Valley residents vote no too.

Why would I be opposed to the annexation? The annexation has been called a "cherry stem" annexation; other names are flag and shoestring annexations. The City Council approved annexing an island of property that is linked to the City by a narrow utility corridor and city streets do not directly connect to it. Some states don't allow this type of municipal annexation and in general island annexations are considered poor planning and administrative practice. So why would the City Council agree to annex?

The property owner and developer likely couldn't get the zoning and other approval they desired from Clackamas County, so they went to development-crazy Happy Valley for an island annexation. Fortunately the City Council was caught and forced to put this is a senseless annexation to a vote of the city voters. Happy Valley does not provide utility services or fire protection; utility companies and special districts provide these. Streets serving the annexation are all in unincorporated Clackamas County. Happy Valley would provide police service; however, the police officers would need to travel far outside the city boundary on County streets to access the site. This annexation can't be justified as good planning or reasonable administration. The Happy Valley City Council is simply annexing for dollars. The Happy Valley City Council gives developer-friendly zoning and development approvals and in return gets the property tax while providing minimal services. Perhaps some see this as a benefit, but I see it as shameful.

Happy Valley has a history of allowing development without providing adequate transportation infrastructure. This needs to stop. In future, I will oppose all annexations to Happy Valley and will join with other like-minded city residents in opposition.

John Betonte

Happy Valley

Annexation already approved

Our city of Happy Valley voters overwhelmingly approved at the Nov. 4, 2008, election, a charter amendment that gave the authority to our City Council to hear, consider and approve all future annexations. That ordinance still stands.

Our council has followed the law and this and all other annexations, have already been approved. We are supporting the will of the 2008 Happy Valley voters as well as our City Council and are endorsing a YES VOTE on this annexation!

Steve & Jennifer Kent

Happy Valley voters

Senior living is vital

This election is about a property owner who has been legally approved to annex to Happy Valley, to build a modern senior-living community, and the adjacent unincorporated neighbors trying to shut down and stop the annexation.

Senior living is vital in Happy Valley, and Altamont should not have the ability to veto this annexation and shut out seniors! Vote YES for our current and future SENIORS and for the ability to annex!

Sam & Priscilla Benitez

Happy Valley city residents

This is unprecedented

It is unprecedented to have residents who are NOT in our city, petition and fund an aggressive campaign to influence the rights and the will of voters within our city.

I encourage our Happy Valley voters to support our city first, not outside neighbors who do not want to be part of our city. I am VOTING YES on M3-518 to allow the annexation.

Sharon Labreck

Happy Valley resident

Altamont should join Happy Valley!

A recent flyer that Altamont distributed stated "As unincorporated Clackamas County, Altamont homeowners have no say."

If they want a voice in our city, then annex. Period. Altamont owners have the same right to annex that everyone else does.

Until then, don't attempt to influence the rights of property owners to annex. Vote yes on Measure #3-518.

Steve Deters

City of Happy Valley property owner

HOA should be promoting progress

Both my wife and I are in favor of the annexation and pray the Happy Valley voters will approve it.

My wife and I are retired from health care. My wife a registered nurse, and I a retired Kaiser Permanente executive from California.

Our health is excellent, however, we may find sometime as we grow older a local facility like the proposed Prestige Care community. It would be a welcome addition to our neighborhood. The reasons we live in Altamont is the nearby convenience of our home, to shopping, doctor and hospital facilities.

Many of our neighbors have discussed with us the possibility of annexation of the entire development. The HOA does not operate at a high level of trust with the homeowners. Legal fees are approved, (such as the attorney hired to fight the Prestige development), without forewarning. Many residents do not even read the minutes of the meetings which are often published late because they feel the board does not hear their issues. The board acts as a cabal serving their own agenda without asking much in the way of input. They spent HOA dues to fight development without many homeowners' approval. The land at issue has been a weed patch since I moved to Altamont in 2002. The school mowed the property each year a week before July 4 fireworks. The HOA has no money to purchase the land and no plans (that I know of) as to how to utilize it. A former board chair said the property was being considered as green space by Metro. I inquired to Metro about this statement and was told by the planner in charge, no such recommendation was being considered. Another example of why I personally distrust the board.

The present HOA board chair is a friend of Jim Bernard. He placed one of Bernard's campaign signs in front of his home during the election of county commissioners. Need I say more?

The developers of Altamont established the CC&R's so that the board votes themselves into office. Of course, this leads to cronyism and surprises when the board decides without community input on spending the HOA fees.

I approve of the way the Happy Valley Citizens For Progress is promoting progress in Happy Valley.

Bill Rose

Altamont neighborhood

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 971-204-7742 with story ideas and comments.

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