Is county ready to hand over Chapman Landing?
After nearly two years of nudging Columbia County to turnover Chapman Landing to the city of Scappoose, the county may be ready to oblige.
A letter sent to Scappoose City Manager Michael Sykes dated Monday, April 2, lists 15 terms and conditions the county is proposing the city agree to, before carrying out the city's requested ownership transfer of the scenic, undeveloped Scappoose waterfront site that marks one end of the Crown Zellerbach Trail.
"I think there's some stuff in there that's reasonable," Sykes noted, before discussing the letter with Scappoose city councilors.
Topping the list of conditions is a requirement that the site become a public park or recreational area.
Councilors had no qualms with that, seeing as they requested the land for the sole purpose of developing it as a public park area, but what remains to be ironed out is whether the site will be a city park, or a city/county park.
Other requests from the county made councilors balk and, at times, laugh.
As Sykes continued to read through the list of conditions, councilors responded with thumbs up and down.
Councilors indicated disapproval over the county's requests for a spot at the park for a county storage area, a free boat slip if a moorage is ever developed, a revenue sharing agreement if the city ever collects usage fees, and a stipulation that the county "be included as an equal partner in branding, signage, brochures, etc., noting the connection with CC Parks, river facilities, and CZ Trail."
"What investment do they have in it?" Council President Mark Reed asked rhetorically, noting the city will be paying for all the development and maintenance of the site.
"We're never going to build slip space," Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge noted, after councilors laughed in response to the request for free slip space for the county.
Most of the terms and conditions were developed by a work group consisting of county parks staff, Columbia County Commissioner Margaret Magruder, and other county staff members, said Commissioner Alex Tardif.
Tardif noted the boat slip request came up because initial plans for Chapman Landing included the possibility of a boat dock.
"I think the real issue is there's just kind of been a disconnect in communication through this process," Tardif said Wednesday. He said the letter is the first step to "open the dialogue and start the negotiation process and find
out how we can move forward."
Burge said Wednesday he also expects there will be some negotiating between the two entities, but he's optimistic about the outcome.
Included in the list of stipulations from the county are:
? Crown Zellerbach Trail kiosk at Chapman Landing
? Equestrian access at the site, once improved
? Zone change from industrial to park space, to be handled by the city
? Final approval of park development plans by the county, consistent with a CZ Trail concept
"I don't know that we'll agree to giving the county final approval," Burge said, but indicated the council has no issue with allowing the county to review development plans.
The county's letter also includes an agreement that a "future Scappoose Bypass may be located adjacent to Chapman Landing."
"I'm positive Chapman Landing is going to be a park," Tardif added. "That is the best interest for the community and that's what it needs to be. If Scappoose appears to have the ability to make this happen, let's make it happen."