Scott Handley and the same vocal group of Palisades homeowners who worked tirelessly to kill the Cooks Butte emergency radio communications tower are at it again, this time proposing an amendment to the Lake Oswego City Charter. Rather than working closely with our city planners and the Lake Oswego Parks Department on the existing goals outlined in the Lake Oswego Parks Plan 2025 (https://www.ci.oswego.or.us/parksrec/parks-plan-2025), the LoveLOParks group is gathering signatures for a ballot measure that ignores the work done so far and proposes a vague set of restrictions on how Lake Oswego residents can protect and utilize their parks and natural
Just as they did in their work to undermine construction of a modern emergency communications radio tower in Lake Oswego, Scott Handley and the LoveLOParks group are criticizing the work of our City planners and questioning the motives of our City Council. Why not work with our City planners rather than against them?
The LoveLOParks charter amendment will make it harder for Lake Oswego residents to enjoy their public parks and other natural areas. Park improvements like concrete paths, wheelchair or handicapped access, parking spaces, sanitation facilities and nature play structures should be determined by citizens in a collaborative process, which management plans help facilitate, not by a blunt city charter amendment. The current language of the charter amendment doesn't even address how the City is to manage its urban forests — the amendment prohibits the City from thinning and removing trees in natural areas.
Rather than throwing out all the work that Lake Oswego residents and city planners have done so far and forcing a set of one-size-fits-all restrictions on all Lake Oswego parks, let's work with our City planners on building long-term protections into the individual master plans that are specific to each natural area in Lake Oswego, as outlined in the existing Parks Plan 2025.
Please don't sign the misguided LoveLOParks petition to change the city charter. While well-meaning, it's a clumsy short-term solution to a long-term challenge. Let's choose the better way. Let's save Lake Oswego parks for all of us.
Chris Thompson is a Lake Oswego resident.
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