Lake Oswego city councilors agreed last week to delay the closing date on the purchase of Stevens Meadow on Childs Road to give the seller more time to remove tenants from the lone building on the property.
Parks & Recreation Director Ivan Anderholm told the Council that in order to prevent the City from incurring any unnecessary liability, it was best to push the closing date of the sale from Nov. 30 to March 1, 2019, to allow the seller to go through the proper steps to vacate the house.
A report on the condition of the house didn't bode well for the City becoming a landlord, Anderholm explained. The original agreement said the City would assume the current month-to-month lease on the home, but deficiencies in the condition of the home and its livability made it prudent for the City to have the seller end tenancy before taking ownership of the property.
The council agreed with Anderholm, voting unanimously to delay the closing date.
The Council also agreed to waive one of the provisions of the purchase agreement that required an independent appraisal of the 5-acre property, which sits at 1551 Childs Road and provides a connection between Cooks Butte Park and the Pecan Creek Natural Area. The acquisition of Stevens Meadow is in accordance with the City's Parks Plan 2025, which identified investment in natural areas as a priority.
The City identified a price of $700,000 for the property. But a residential appraisal came back at $575,000, and the sale agreement requires that the purchase price be backed by the appraisal.
"As you're aware, we have an intergovernmental agreement for due diligence and negotiation with Metro for this property, and we followed their guidelines on the approach and process for putting together this purchase-sale agreement," Anderholm told the council. "In doing that, their process requires, up front, that a reasonable value is put together for the property.
"We did that in conjunction with Metro staff," Anderholm said, "based on a comparable 5-acre parcel almost adjacent to the Stevens property and also taking into account the appraised value listed by Clackamas County, both of which were significantly higher than the $700,000."
According to Anderholm, the City's contribution to the $700,000 sale price is $450,000, including $350,000 from system development charges and $100,000 in Parks contingency funds. The remaining $250,000 will be funded by Metro, with the condition that a conservation easement be added to the entire property.
The easement will be more restrictive on the western two-thirds of the property where the existing meadow is, Anderholm said, and less so on the eastern third where formal public access will be.
Lake Oswego residents have until the end of the day on Friday, Dec. 7, to help the City prioritize future Parks projects as it prepares to place a bond renewal measure on the May 2019 ballot.
The online survey, available at tinyurl.com/LOParksSurvey, asks participants about the kinds of Parks & Rec services they use and their willingness to support a bond renewal. It also offers an opportunity to rank a variety of future projects, ranging from adding artifical turf to playing fields and renovating park restrooms to conrtibuting to a community swimming pool and building a new Parks & Rec headquarters.
According to City Manager Scott Lazenby, a final decision on the bond renewal measure likely won't be made until February 2019.
If all three expiring bonds are renewed, he said, they would bring in an estimated $22 million in new Parks funding.
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