Tualatin council rejects deal for Stafford region
The Tualatin City Council has declined to sign off on an intergovernmental agreement concerning mutual interests in the Stafford area involving the cities of Tualatin, Lake Oswego and West Linn.
While supportive of the agreement as a whole, several council members and the mayor voted 3-3 on the measure Dec. 10, meaning it failed.
Those in favor: Councilor Frank Bubenik, Councilor Nancy Grimes and Councilor Robert Kellogg, via-phone call. Those against: Mayor Lou Ogden, Council President Joelle Davis and Councilor Paul Morrison.
Starting in January, Bubenik replaces Ogden as mayor.
Among the major concerns expressed by Ogden were timeframes and planning issues. He said the IGA didn't provide a way for cities to do preliminary planning, address transportation needs or determine who might have jurisdiction where.
"I don't feel this agreement does anything to move the ball forward in any substantial way because you can't talk about it for two years," Ogden said at a Nov. 26 work session. He said he felt it was important that there be a map of "jurisdictional interest" before that time.
"So for me it's a non-starter," Ogden said Monday night before voting not to sign the IGA.
Both Lake Oswego and West Linn city councils have voted to move forward with the agreement.
Ogden explained in a follow-up email that in order for the Oregon Department of Transportation to make improvements on Interstate 205 with grant money, the state agency needs input from all three cities, something he said is prohibited because no jurisdictional map can be made until 2020.
"It also prohibits any planning to be completed prior to the three conditions addressing I-205 for areas south of the Tualatin River," he said. "It is difficult to understand how we can coordinate the planning of I-205 with the needs of the region if we can't plan the region until I-205 is planned, funded and scheduled for construction. Further, the area north of the Tualatin River is forbidden from completing planning for at least 10 years."
Ogden explained in the email that he doesn't want to stagnate the process, noting that an IGA provides a framework for all three cities to work together, but he said the agreement "but, rather, wishes to engage the three cities in building a positive progression toward adding the ability of the region to serve some of our growing needs in a timely manner…"
While Ogden has said there is no interest on the part of the city of Tualatin to develop the area, he wants "to make sure the door was open" when the time comes and would like to know which cities have an interest in what areas of Stafford.
While the majority of those present Monday night also testified against signing the IGA as well, Jeff Gudman, a member of the Lake Oswego City Council, encouraged the council to sign off on it, saying the respective cities could talk about the details later.
"This agreement provides the framework for going forward," he said.
But that wasn't the view of many others at the meeting, including Herb Koss, chairman of the Stafford Landowner's Association. Koss said he had concerns about restrictions on planning north of the Willamette River for 10 years and said the area needed a traffic study. He said any IGA should have a density agreement as part of it as well.
"People want to know what the area is going to look like," he said. "I think the boundaries for each city should be determined as soon as possible."