This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 6, 2013 8:52 AM. The previous post in this blog was She's so unusual. The next post in this blog is Reese to Hales: "I got yer budget cuts right here". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lake Oswego kills "urban renewal" for Foothills area

Developer kingpin Homer Williams's plans to slap up junky apartments on the east side of Lake Oswego -- plans that once featured a streetcar to Portland -- appear altogether dead this morning. The city council down that way repealed the Foothills "urban renewal" district last night. This district was rushed through by Homer's pets on the council before they left office at year-end. They gave up their political careers for him, and now their grand plans to funnel millions of tax dollars to him lie in tatters. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

The vote was 4-2, and it would have been 5-2 had the new mayor not been tied up with his family tragedy.

What a stunning turnaround. The cr-apartment weasels are destroying Portland proper, but apparently there will still be some sane suburbs for people with money and real lives to escape to. And Portlanders won't have to pay either to build the infernal streetcar down there or to move the Portland sewage treatment plant that sits near where Williams's schlock development was supposed to go.

From what we can gather, there's a movement afoot by property owners along Highway 43 in Dunthorpe to bring legal action to take back the abandoned rail right-of-way through their area, a move that might kill off any lingering Lake O. train fantasies permanently. That would be a welcome development.

Comments (17)

The Sellwood Bridge reconstruction will block the rail tracks for two years, which cuts off all rail traffic north of the bridge and makes the south portion a rail without a destination, giving the owners of the underlying land (much of the rail is on easements, not on railroad land) a stronger argument that the line has been abandoned and that it's reverted to the adjoining owners.

During last night's council meeting, a knowledgable citizen reported on a conversation the Mayor had with Carlotta Colette, our "representative" on the Metro Council. She reportedly told the Mayor -- you're going to be getting a streetcar whether you like it or not. Or words to that effect.

Is she now counting her days in office? Evidently she sees the writing on the wall and wants to assert the Rail Mafia dominance over the Metro region. I hope the Dunthorpe group is successful. It would have been nice to have that land as a ped/bike trail, but the government cannot be trusted to leave well enough alone so the residents need to protect themselves.

I am so proud of our city council! It takes courage to make a stand that may be unpopular with many of your friends, even though it is right and the majority agrees with you. Sometimes leaders may feel that when they stand on their convictions they stand alone, but that is not true. The citizens of Lake Oswego thank you for your efforts in bringing our city back to reality. The clouds are lifting in Lake O.

Lake Oswego has wrestled control of an out-of-control body that looked unstoppable 4 years ago. This doesn't mean the Ellie McPeak's, Judy Hammerstds, and less well known busy-bodies have gone. They will continue to hoodwink the lower inforation voters by using the Lake Oswego Review as their propaganda sheet. But people are wiser now.

Luckily, or maybe no so lucky for Pamplin, the LO Review readership has dropped a great deal. West Linn Tidings and the LO Review are the only 2 papers he charges for and people are just not buying. The old In-Group used the monthly City newsletter to gush about Foothills, "walkable neighborhoods", Urban Renewal, and everything sustainable, knowing if they never told anyone just what that meant it would sound good. But the new administration might have something to say about what goes out to the public now. And yes, the old guard is still there, building alliances and gaining whatever power they can get and hold on to. And causing trouble for the new government if they can. Wouldn't it be great if Portland were ringed with independent suburbs and Metro was reduced to a mere shadow of itself?

Wasn't METRO created by a vote of people in te late 70's? Maybe it is time for a movement to convince voters to dissolve it or at least cripple its powers to the point it might as well be gone. Not an easy project admittedly but perhaps one whose time has come and one led by a certain professor held in high esteem around these parts. Not real high but high:)))))))))))))))))))))

2013 Feb 06 Wednesday 10:25 U (10:25 PM PT)

RE: Lake Oswego kills "urban renewal" for Foothills area

The Birdshill CPO / NA passed several resolutions wrt
Ordinance 2613 that repealed the Foothills Urban Renewal Plan
at our meeting on 2013 Jan 23 Wednesday.

A prime concern even before the release of the
“The Oregon Resilience Plan” on 2013 Feb 05 Tuesday is the
ability of the Willamette Shore Line (WSL) Elk Rock Tunnel (ERT)
to withstand a Cascadia Fault break.

The Elk Rock Tunnel geology is to be “covered up” with a
$200,000 dollar project per LO City Council resolution 12-70.
Passed at the noted 2012 Dec 18 Tuesday Lake Oswego
City Council meeting.

I have asked verbally and in writing too many times to LO City
government that a geology report be conducted prior to tunnel lining
project. Reason for this and the inanity of a streetcar to Lake Oswego
is self evident in my report on Willamette Shore Line hazards. Download from
File: CMUA_BHCN_WSL_Earthquake_2011_04Apr_04Mo_2000U.pdf
See Page 15 – OR 43 & WSL ROW – Elk Rock Hazard.

I will wager a waffle cone at Tillamook Ice Creamery that no
member of the Willamette Shore Line Consortium will act until
rocks hit their head repeatedly and answer the question:
Can East wall of WSL Elk Rock Tunnel withstand an earthquake
without OR 43 collapse?

The question is will there be a natural dam or set of rapids formed
at Willamette River Mile 19.0 first.

Charles Ormsby (Skip)
Chair Birdshill CPO / NA
EM: birdshillcpona@gmail.com

I still have a hunch the unrevealed plan is to run the streetcar down Hwy 43 to impose "traffic calming" while at the same time bypassing any concerns about Elk Rock Tunnel, or right-of-way of the old RR. The only obstacle to that notion is the elevation in the Elk Rock area.

After all, isn't that what all this "urban planning" is really about, to replace private motor vehicle mobility with government sanctioned mobility (also while partnering with real estate developers to help the plan "pencil out")?

Screwing up Hwy 43 is a perfect opportunity to do it all.

I don't think anyone's seriously proposed running the streetcar on Riverside Drive (the part of Highway 43 between the Sellwood Bridge and Lake Oswego). However, the likely route through Johns Landing is not on the existing alignment but on Macadam Avenue, where the streetcar would help to calm the autos even as it discomfits their drivers.

However, the likely route through Johns Landing is not on the existing alignment but on Macadam Avenue, where the streetcar would help to calm the autos even as it discomfits their drivers

Because apparently the 35 bus doesn't do a good enough job of that?

It's not the job of TriMet, or anyone else, to placate a bunch of people dead set against riding a bus. The bus is there. Use it, or shut up. There's no reason for a Streetcar, unless a developer wants to buy it, install it, pay for it. If the Streetcar supporters claim there's such a huge market for the Streetcar, and the right-of-way is valued at $70 million (a value I find fraudulent - it's encumbered by a revisionary title and no railroad will pay a penny for it) then surely some streetcar company will love to buy up the right-of-way for $35 million (thus recouping the government's interest in the real estate that we originally paid $3.5 million for, and returning that money back to taxpayers), and then build the for-profit, for-business streetcar.

2013 Feb 06 Wed 12:40 U

My concerns with respect to utilizing
Macadam Ave segment of OR Hwy 43 are
pretty well stated in a request I sent to
ODOT in 2010. See
File: RQST_SNSK_Vehicle_Braking_L4T_2010_03Mar_14Su_1000U.pdf
ODOT Response:

Idea of mixing streetcar with traffic
moving at 35 mph is dumb. Talked with people in Federal Highway Administration in facility next to CIA HQ. Stated they did not know of a highway segment in USA where rails and traffic would mix at 35 mph.

It would have been nice to have that land as a ped/bike trail

Honestly - that right-of-way would be an awesome rail-trail.

The problem? That revisionary title. It is a railroad, or it is gone. And with the number of attorneys whose driveways have that railroad track cutting across their front yard and driveway, I'm actually wondering why they have not yet filed for an adverse abandonment petition with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

Jack- it took your help and many many volunteers helping to get responsible people elected in Lake Oswego to bring back honesty in local government. Lake Oswego belongs to the residents- not Homer Williams and his ilk. BRAVO!


I was being a little tongue in cheek about the streetcar calming traffic on Macadam Avenue. It would be a disaster for traffic, similar to what the streetcar does on the two-way streets in Northwest Portland where it blocks the only traffic lane in its direction. As for the bike trail, Metro should condemn the reversionary rights now, while the rail is still sorta kinda in use, and the reversionary rights have less value. If Metro waits until the rail line closes, the price shoots up.

"I'm actually wondering why they have not yet filed for an adverse abandonment petition with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board."

Me too!

I for one am truly grateful for all this blog has done to keep a light shined on Lake Oswego's ruling oligarchy. With only Jordan and Gustafson left to harass citizens, the city is on its way back to fiscal sanity. As for the progressives left here, sell your place and move to Antelope. That would be a great place to realize your community planning and urban dreaming. Free or low cost housing, too!

Bike trail? Great idea. Trains, streetcars, new sewage treatment plant? Eff ewe.

I'm sure the prospect of a streetcar rumbling through Bishop's Close (or even nearby) warms the cockles of the Dunthorpe neighborhood's heart.

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