This is important because We Love LO!

In 1978 the State of Oregon mandated that individual communities develop and maintain a comprehensive plan. This plan becomes a road map for the future. How does the community support growing populations, economic development, and prioritize resources? The last time Lake Oswego updated its comprehensive plan was in 1994. With 16 years since being updated, in 2010 the State of Oregon told the City of Lake Oswego to update the comprehensive plan and gave the City 3 years to do so.

In the last 3 years over 2000 citizens of the community have participated in a lengthy process of meeting, discussing, and giving in-put as to what the vision of Lake Oswego should look like in 2035. This was a very involved process that included the school district, neighborhood associations, business associations, and open public forums. In fact, the City received the National Planning Excellence Award for Communications Initiative from the American Planning Association for this effort.

The comprehensive plan has 7 action areas:

• Healthy Ecosystems
• Community Health and Public Safety
• Connected Community
• Inspiring Places and Spaces
• Economic Vitality
• Complete Neighborhoods and Housing
• Community Culture

These action areas support a wide variety of goals. Much emphasis is placed on livability and there was a strong consensus that walking, biking, and public transportation should be encouraged. Value is placed on high-quality schools, library, and recreational opportunities. Economic diversity is encouraged and the support of local businesses is a goal.

Think about it, the gallery without walls didn’t just happen. It is something we treasure and enjoy because in the past the arts were encouraged and supported in this community.

The final step in the adaption of the comprehensive plan is now occurring. Our mayor and city council will be voting on the adaption of the final version of the comprehensive plan at the City Council meeting on April 16th. I want to encourage you to learn about the plan. The easiest way to do this is by watching this short video.

Next I want to encourage you to contact our Mayor and City Council members to support adaption of the current comprehensive plan as it has been developed by the citizens of our community. To contact our Mayor and members of the City Council click here.

There is always a bit of controversy in public planning. That is true in this instance. There are several members of our city council who are not in favor of the comprehensive plan as it has been developed. I guess it could be attributed to a general dislike of planning in general: the idea that government should be smaller and less involved. There certainly are times when I agree with that perspective. But this plan is a good one. It is a vision for the future of our City that was developed by the citizens of this City. Please encourage the adaptation of the plan as the citizens have designed it over the course of the last 3 years.

We do love our City! This vision for the next 20 years is wonderful! Get involved and please encourage the adaptation of the Comprehensive Plan.

2 Replies to “This is important because We Love LO!”

  1. The previous council completely trashed the credibility of the ‘consultation exercise’ that produced this plan, by framing the questions and then massaging the answers (with the help of willing activists among the city’s employees) so that somehow the result always came out portrayed as ‘support’ for whatever they wanted.

    They did this for example over the light rail/trolley proposals, where the votes of people who said they thought expanding the existing bus service instead made more sense were magically transformed into votes in favor of ‘more investment in mass transit’, i.e. were then counted as being in support of what the council majority wanted.

    So no, the new council would do better to throw this thoroughly tainted ‘comprehensive plan’ out, and if we really have to have something like this start over by defining a process that has some integrity.

  2. I totally get it about the previous council and mayor. I appreciate the fact that there is a big part of our population that really wants change and voted for that change in the last election cycle.

    I don’t think that is justification for 3 years of public commentary, that 2000 Lake Oswego Citizens participated in, being thrown out over the course of 3 City Council meetings.

    I did not participate in the public in-put sessions, but I have participated in the City’s annual survey for the last couple of years and the results of that survey fell in line with my own thoughts about the city. I totally love the expanded bike paths and the public displays of art.

    The current proposal is to remove everything from the Comprehensive Plan that does not pertain to land use. So all goals relating to our schools, our library, economic growth, transportation, etc. The Comprehensive Plan is not a spending mandate. It is a framework for setting goals. Today’s elected officials and those elected in the future would use the plan as guidance. But they do not have to put forth any proposals whatsoever that they don’t want to.

    Finally, the City is now at the deadline that was mandated by the State of Oregon to complete the update of the comprehensive plan. Not sure what the consequences are if it is not completed on time.

Comments are closed.