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Public hearing will continue at later date to allow for further revisions, communication

TIDINGS FILE PHOTO - The draft 2018 parks plan calls for enhanced water access across the city, but the council opted to delay the adoption of the plan to allow for more revisions. More than a year in the making, West Linn's new Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan will have to wait a bit longer before it is formally adopted.

The City Council opened a public hearing for the plan during its meeting Monday, June 18, but after an extended discussion it opted to continue the hearing at a later date to allow for further revisions and communication with both the West Linn Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

The plan is intended to lay out the department's goals for the next 20 years, but it is generally revisited every 10 years.

The draft of the 2018 plan featured seven primary goals, including the re-envisioning of West Linn's water experience, creating year-round "social hubs," exploring indoor recreation opportunities and improving connectivity and accessibility throughout the parks system. At a May 16 public hearing, the planning commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the plan — with the caveat that it should be updated to address the importance of "satellite centers" like Sunset Fire Hall, the old Bolton Fire Station and Robinwood Station.

The council evaluated the draft plan at a June 4 work session, and the parks board weighed in on the planning commission's recommendation during a June 14 meeting.

According to Parks and Recreation Director Ken Worcester, the parks board and planning commission were at odds when it came to the future of the satellite centers. While the parks board felt that the plan should emphasize the importance of a new, largescale recreation center, the planning commission was adamant that current satellite centers should be targeted for improvements.

Still, Worcester said the groups weren't as far apart as they seemed.

"The parks board felt it was very important, strategically, to keep the community recreation center in the plan, because that's what the data shows (people want)," Worcester said. "They wanted to reinforce that, not say that (satellite centers) don't have any use in the city."

Staff provided a summary of the proposed changes to the plan made by the planning commission, parks board and the council, but several councilors said they were uncomfortable moving forward without a redlined version of the plan that had been reviewed by the advisory boards.

"It's important to see where the changes will take place and how they're worded," City Councilor Teri Cummings said. "(The planning commission) list of proposed changes was not small."

City Council President Brenda Perry disagreed and felt the ball was squarely in the council's court.

"I don't think (the boards) need to be in the wordsmithing part," Perry said. "We could be going back and forth here for a long time. ... It's up to us as a council to approve this, make a decision, not keep shoveling it off."

But after several other councilors expressed interest in delaying the decision, it was Perry who made a motion to continue the hearing at a later date and direct staff to put together a redlined document that would be reviewed informally by the planning commission and parks board.

The council voted 3-2 in favor of that motion; Cummings and City Councilor Rich Sakelik voted no because they felt the issue should be formally remanded back to the planning commission.

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