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City says two park developments in Villebois that total 12 acres will not impact Coffee Creek wetlands

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - 12 acres next to the Coffee Lake Creek Wetlands Natural Area in Villebois will be developed into two parks.

Work to develop two parks totaling 12 acres is set to begin this month and be completed later this year, according to Daniel Pauly, City of Wilsonville planning manager.

The adjacent parks, including the 9-acre Tivoli Park and the 3-acre Oulanka Park, are located next to the Coffee Lake Creek Wetlands Natural Area in Villebois, between Tooze Road and Barbur Street along Coffee Lake Drive.

The parks will have a bird-watching area with informational signage, gazebos, sports fields, rocks and logs as play features, shelters, restrooms and more. A 12-space parking lot also will be

added.

The parks will be developed by Polygon Homes. The land is owned by the City of Wilsonville, the Metro regional government and Sparrow Creek LLC. The City is using $2.3 million in system development charges — one-time fees to developers to help offset the project's burden on public infrastructure — to pay for the development, as well as the 6-acre Cavallo Park in the Clermont section of Villebois for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The City Development Review Board approved the creation of the parks in September 2017 on a close 3-2 vote. Pauly said the plan has remained essentially the same since then.

During that approval process, some community members testified that they were misled by Polygon into thinking the area would be preserved as a natural habitat.

And although neighbors initially had planned to appeal the DRB decision, Pauly said they never went through with it. Polygon eventually entered into settlement agreements with homeowners regarding the misinformation, according to a City Council staff report.

"We highly advertised that. We've been forthright about that plan. It's been the plan forever, for all of the Villebois planning period. If realtors or something told them something, I don't know. But there's no misinformation given by the City," Pauly said.

The parks are not located in the City's significant resources overlay zone, which prevents development in areas with important natural resources, and Pauly said the park will not impact the wetlands in the Coffee Creek area.

"There was a misunderstanding of what is a wetland and what is an upland. So I think there was an assumption by some that everything past the road (and into the natural area) was wetland, which was not true," he said.

Park ownership and maintenance will be transferred to the adjacent homeowners association once it's completed. It will remain under its control for five years and then be transferred back to the City after that if the City deems the park to be functional. Pauly said that is a typical ownership cycle for regional parks in Villebois.

"It's more of a warranty thing, that it's all correctly functional, that the City is not inheriting something that is not built up to snuff," Pauly said. "That was the agreement way back before my day, and it has been carried forward through this series of parks."


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