Approval adds them to Transportation System Plan

by: ILLUSTRATION BY DENISE SZOTT - The dotted lines north of Tualatin-Sherwood Road represent the future extension of Langer Farms Parkway and Baler Way. Private developers would have to pick up the tabs for constructing those future roadways when they are eventually developed.
The Sherwood City Council has given the green light to extending both Langer Farms Parkway and Baler Way to cross Tualatin-Sherwood Road.

On Feb. 18, the council approved the extensions of the two city roadways, recommending that they be included in the city’s transportation system plan as collector streets as part of a request by officials from Washington County Department of Land Use and Transportation.

Councilor Matt Langer abstained from the Baler Way vote.

In the case of Langer Farms Parkway (formerly known as Adams Avenue), plans are to eventually have the road cross Tualatin-Sherwood Road before heading north past Sentinel Storage and hooking up with the entrance to Home Depot. From there, the street would cross Highway 99W to the west before ending in a cul-de-sac in land zoned for commercial and light industrial use.

During Planning Commission testimony on Jan. 28, several residents expressed fears that once Langer Farms Parkway continued across Highway 99W it would ultimately be connected to Borcher’s Drive, creating traffic in a nearby subdivision.

“I want it to never, never go through our neighborhood,” said Amber Dahl, a Lavender Place resident. “Please don’t divert all those cars through our neighborhood.”

Brad Kilby, a city planner, said he didn’t expect that to happen, pointing out that any developer would have to build a bridge across a deep ravine to allow access to a housing subdivision and the Hunter’s Ridge complex.

In approving its recommendation to the Sherwood City Council, Planning Commissioners Lisa Walker and James Copfer asked for language showing the city’s intent was not to connect the road with Borcher’s Drive.

Meanwhile, plans for the Baler Way extension are to also cross Tualatin-Sherwood Road to the north and continue past the Les Schwab Tire Center into an area known as the Adams Avenue North Concept Plan. The road would then extend to the Langer Farms Parkway extension near Home Depot.

Discussion regarding Baler Way (the street that passes alongside the Target shopping complex) was more involved during the Planninig Commission meeting with much of the conversation centering around whether a traffic light should be removed at the entrance to Albertson’s/Sherwood Cinema Center complexes.

Representatives from both of those commercial ventures expressed their concerns about taking down the signal, a move that has been challenged and awaits a decision by the Land Use Board of Appeals.

Ty Wyman, an attorney for Sherwood Market Center (which houses the Albertson’s complex), said removal of the signal “would decimate that center.”

Phil Grillo, an attorney representing TakFal Properties, owners of the cinema complex, has previously said his client is supportive of the transportation system plan but would like to see the traffic light remain unless other options would allow access to the theaters.

According to Dec. 10 Planning Commission minutes, the Oregon Department of Transportation has approved allowing access to the Sherwood Cinema Center complex from Highway 99W, a project estimated to cost $700,000.

Bob Galati, Sherwood city engineer, told comissioners that the decision of approving the Baler Way extension should be made independently, regardless of the fate of the traffic light, pointing out that the roadway’s continuation would allow for improved connectivity.

Commissioner Russell Griffin pointed out that one thing that can’t be controlled is the extensive traffic along Tualatin-Sherwood Road, noting that the light was really a separate issue.

Funding for both the Langer Farms Parkway and the Baler Way extensions would have to be paid for by private developers, officials have said.

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