Opinion: Developer seeks to steal Oregon City neighbors' access
Icon Construction's proposed Oregon City Crossing housing project is confusing at best, and at worse, fails to answer critical 10,000-foot-level questions.
Attempting to understand their version of the Park Place Concept Plan, I have been attending Icon Construction and AKS Engineering's planning meetings, where they have repeatedly avoided serious issues with the proposed project.
So, I called the Clackamas County Planning Department for advice on how to fight this project. My husband and I live on Edenwild Lane and love being away from urban blight.
I asked the county why the Holly Lane collector would be in Clackamas County and parts of the project appear to be outside the urban growth boundary, per the developer's map. Wouldn't Clackamas County be involved?
The nice person I talked with, Clackamas County Long Range Planning Manager Karen Buehrig, told me that the county voted against this abhorrent housing project, stating:
"It is my understanding that the Park Place development that is currently under discussion is within the city of Oregon City. Clackamas County does not have a role in the approval process for applications within Oregon City. With respect to the extension of Holly Lane to connect Redland to the Park Place development, that extension currently traverses across unincorporated Clackamas County. At this point, I do not think that the developer is being required to construct that connection. At the time the connection is built, it is possible that it could also be required to be within the limits of Oregon City. Clackamas County would have a role in the review of the connection with Redland Road." Ms. Buehrig said to let her know if I had additional questions, which of course I did, since part of the initial project connecting to Holcomb appears to also be in Clackamas County. Icon and AKS stated they will have "to get Oregon City involved" to get Holly Lane connected to Holcomb or else use Street A, which appears to connect near Jada Way. According to the developer's own traffic study, Jada Way is "dangerous."
In this regard Ms. Buehrig emailed me the following:
"From reading the information that you have sent, my understanding is that the 'long-term solution' appears to be the connection of Holly Lane to Holcomb near Barlow. The proposed interim solution is to provide access through the property that they own, and is within the city, which has the road access closer to Jada. You are correct that there are three properties that are still in unincorporated Clackamas County (not in the city). Eventually, Holly Lane would extend through these properties, but that is not proposed at this time (from what I can tell in both the slideshow that you sent and the memo)."
So, the version of the Park Place Concept being proposed has no acquired southern exit, no permanent northern exit and has to steal from a neighboring subdivision in order to make the proposed Holly Lane usable with a nonapproved variance.
Sharon Neish is a resident of unincorporated Clackamas County just outside of the city limits of Oregon City.
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