Dec. 9 was a typical Monday night at my coffee shop down on First Street. There I was, working away, cleaning syrup pumps, when an old friend walked in.

She’d just gotten out of a meeting concerning the Wizer’s redevelopment plan and needed a “pick me up.” I took her order for a small, nonfat latte and asked her what she thought about the redevelopment plan. She loved it. I asked her why. She told me.

I asked her what the problem was, like, who, exactly, were the people behind that lame music video I’d seen a few weeks back? My friend laughed, and then she started telling me about the legitimacy of people’s concerns regarding “traffic” and “congestion” and ... I interrupted my friend, asked her whether people had raised the same concerns with Millennium Plaza Park.

My friend said yes, people had. I asked my friend whether people had raised the same concerns with Lake View Village. People had. Now it was my turn to laugh, before telling my friend, “Millennium (Plaza) Park and Lake View Village are like the two best things that ever happened to downtown Lake Oswego!”

My friend agreed, told me that there was a big vote coming up on Jan. 6, and that I should write a letter to the Lake Oswego Review. Well, here it is.

What I think: The current plan to redevelop Wizer’s is merely the next step in a process that began back when I was a freshman at Lakeridge High School, almost 15 years ago, back when this city, our city, Lake Oswego, decided to build Millennium Plaza Park. It’s a process that continued when we built Lake View Village a few years later, continued when we added on to Millennium Plaza Park ... continued when we built Sundeleaf Plaza; continued when we revamped Second Avenue this past summer; and continues to this day with things like the ongoing renovation of the Lake Twin cinema.

What, exactly, is this process? Well, it’s the process of building a strong, healthy, vibrant downtown Lake Oswego, a downtown where people want to shop and eat but also work and live, a downtown that supports not only local businesses and professionals, but also human beings in our desire to live well.

And where’s this process going? Well, I’m not fortune teller, but if the past is any indicator of the future, I see this process leading us to finish the Lake Twin revamp, but also starting new projects, like building a new library downtown, for example. Those are just two things that come to mind. Something else that comes to mind is, well, it starts with “light” and ends with “ail” and I’ll let you fill in the blank.

I ran most of this past my dad the other night, told him about the upcoming vote on Jan. 6. His response was, “Well, the vote doesn’t really matter anyways because Wizer’s is private property, and as long as the development is handled according to city code, they can turn it into whatever the heck they want. This is the United States, after all.”

Hard to argue with that.

Max Goins is a Lake Oswego resident.

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