Hoodland community: Do residents value a new park district?
Clackamas County has made a deal with the Hoodland Women's Club. The club has until November 2020 to find use for the site of the old Dorman Center or it will be sold.
The proposed use is to establish a parks district and revive the old community hub as a park. The land designated for the park consists of three parcels, all on Salmon River Road. That includes the former Dorman Center of 3.97 acres, five acres on the other side of the Oregon Department of Transportation road gravel storage, and an 11-acre strip beyond Birdie Lane.
The district would exist within the boundaries of the Hoodland Fire District, spreading from Government Camp to Summertime Road at Alder Creek.
"All this land to have in our local control is pretty amazing," committee member Regina Lythgoe told The Post. "Like many people on the mountain, I think a lot about that property and its value to the community has so much possibility."
"We're trying to be inclusive to the community with a poll and serve the community as an unbiased committee," noted Lythgoe. "We want the neighborhood to feel included in the process, (and) find a common ground on what to do with this gift from Clackamas County.
The estimated cost to start up the district is about $480,000, or 49 cents per $1,000 of assessed value of property taxes within the district. People within the park district would not have to pay to use its facilities.
Most of the concerns expressed by people who answered the poll include the cost, traffic and homelessness. "We can always lower the tax after the park is developed," Lythgoe assured. "We don't see a need to raise that tax later. We just see a need for the tax to develop the park. If we developed something the community owns, we'd control it (as a community, and) it would be lit and managed."
There also has been a misperception previously that the Women's Club will run the park, but that is inaccurate. Besides the measure to create the district, there will also be measures to create a tax base and form a board for the district from qualified candidates who will manage the park.
The next steps if the community feedback on the district is positive, would be to send in a feasibility study, then the club would need to gather 750 to 800 petition signatures to get the measure on the ballot.
"(This effort is) to collaborate with the community and what their needs may be so that Thriftway isn't our main hub," Lythgoe added. "It's to bring the community together with something we all own, and something our community could really benefit from. We want to do this for the kids and other generations up here. If we get the go-ahead of the community, we're ready to move forward."
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