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LORA board also secures final piece of property for the North Anchor project



BUCKCity councilors approved the final version of amendments to the City’s Tree Code on Tuesday night, capping off a year-long series of debates and negotiations by the nearly three dozen members of the Ad Hoc Tree Code Committee.

The version passed by the council includes nearly all of the changes recommended by the committee, but it also raises the upper threshold for Type I tree-removal permits to 15 inches rather than the suggested 12 inches. That means residential property owners will now be able to remove trees with a diameter of up to 15 inches at the base using the simpler Type I permits, instead of having to apply for the more-burdensome Type II permits.

Committee chairman Mike Buck thanked the council for valuing the committee’s work and recommendations. He also brought up one of the committee’s supplemental recommendations, urging the council to direct City staff to review Lake Oswego’s development code.

Several committee members made similar remarks during a public Tree Code hearing earlier this month, where there was broad agreement that some of the public concerns about preserving trees in Lake Oswego overlap with concerns about the pace of redevelopment in the city.

The Tree Code alone cannot address these issues, committee members said.

“Giving attention to just the Tree Code seemed short-sighted,” Buck said.

Several councilors expressed interest in looking at the development code in the future, but they didn’t discuss the issue further on Tuesday.

City Manager Scott Lazenby did address one of the other suggested amendments, which calls for a more-accessible online system for tree-removal applications and appeals. He said some of the features requested by the committee are still in development and won’t be ready when the measure takes effect.

“We probably won’t have a full-blown online experience when this ordinance takes effect in 30 days,” he cautioned.

However, he said that some of the requested online components are already available, and the City’s IT department staff estimate that the full system could be online within 30 days after the new rules take effect.

The Tree Code amendments passed by a vote of 6-0. (Councilor Jon Gustafson was absent.)

In other business Tuesday:

— Acting as the LORA board, councilors agreed to purchase the property on the northwest corner of State Street and B Avenue on behalf of Sturgeon Development Partners. The property is the third and final piece needed for the North Anchor project, which can now move on to the design phase once the deal is finalized. (The agreement is contingent on the results of SDP’s due-diligence inspections of the new property, which are still in progress). The City will sell the entire 46,800-square-foot project property as one unit back to SDP once the company has completed construction.

Redevelopment Director Brant Williams outlined how the addition of the third property will improve the project. The original preliminary designs called for a hotel on the west side of First Street and a mixed-use development on the east side; the addition of the third property now allows for a much larger hotel between First Street and State Street, Williams said, while the mixed-use development will likely shift to the west side of First Street.

SDP is also exploring options for adding public parking to the structure, including the possibility of an underground garage extending beneath both buildings. However, the details are still preliminary because design work has not yet begun.

— The LORA board also renewed the Lake Oswego Arts Council’s lease on its current location at First Street and B Avenue. The duration of the new lease has been shortened from one year to six months in anticipation of the start of the North Anchor project in the same location. Depending on when the North Anchor project begins, the Arts Council lease may be renewed for up to two additional six-month periods.

— The council voted to officially create a Lake Oswego Youth Leadership Council. Staff will finalize the application process and collect applications over the course of the summer and select the initial five representatives at some point after the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Any Lake Oswego teen of high school age is eligible to apply, regardless of where they attend school.

— The council finalized the language of the explanatory statement that will accompany the advisory vote on the November ballot concerning a potential City-owned municipal broadband fiber network.

— City Manager Scott Lazenby provided a report on the progress made toward the list of main goals for 2016 that the council set for itself in January. The youth council, Tree Code and North Anchor project were all on the list; several other goals have also been completed, such as the creation of a tourism task force and the start of construction on the new operations and maintenance center. Ongoing projects such as street maintenance and the Boones Ferry Road upgrade project are also showing progress.

Contact Anthony Macuk at 503-636-1281 ext. 108 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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