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'Overdevelopment: No! Redevelopment: Yes!'

The proposed Wizer Block 137 plan is a massive five-story, 228-compact housing unit edifice. It’s an excessive profit center for the developers and investors that includes a $6 million LORA payment (debt) from the city.

The building will concentrate cars and people along A Avenue between First and Second. I chose LO over LA 25 years ago to avoid sitting in my car idling at a standstill in traffic. More importantly, this proposed Wizer plan is violating the intention of the East End Redevelopment Plan of “New structures designed to complement neighboring structures”: Block 138, Millennium Plaza Park (south) and the 39 three-story townhomes on Block 136 (west).

The neighborhood compatibility is about building height and density, not an exterior façade similar to the buildings next door. The LO city code is for three stories (four as an exception), and the East End plan suggests 30 to 70 hotel rooms or apartments.

Our city code defines village character as, “a community of small-scale structures that appears and operates like a traditional small town.”

Citizens, your dread of avoiding downtown Lake Oswego and sense of loss may not have a dollar amount assigned, but your regret looking at this five-story, 228-apartment edifice will be priceless. The developers and investors will have the warm sense of profit, and we will feel more the dread of idling in LA.

The proposed parking plan is a travesty. There are about 365 public parking spaces in the (Lake View Village) garage ... for Lakeview Village Block 138 (approximately 84,000 square feet) and only about 135 planned public parking spaces for Wizer 137 (with more than 300,000 gross square feet). And, these 135 spaces are designated for the public, all the retail employees and resident visitors. Cars circling in streets, idling, for an empty parking space is inevitable, with traffic backing up on main corridors in future years.

Citizen action has changed developer plans. The townhome (plan) along Block 136 along Second Street across from Wizer’s was originally planned for 80 townhomes. Due to citizen concern in 2003 over action regarding parking and traffic congestion, the developer agreed to reduce the units to the 39 that are there today. Also, in 1998 Lake View Village was initially designed to be much larger, but a citizen-led ballot referendum resulted in a redesign and the three-story village character we see today. Let’s improve Wizer 137 project to three stories, not four and five.

Email the DRC now (below).

The current developer contracts can be redone. This project is not a done deal. Your citizen input is necessary now, as the developmental review council votes after Thanksgiving. Help alter this precedent-setting building that urbanizes our downtown village community. How this turns out will define this city council and mayor’s legacy. Let’s get it right!

Council and mayor: Keep your promise to maintain our village character.

Overdevelopment: No! Redevelopment: Yes!

Email the DRC at planning@ci.oswego.or.us before Nov. 1.

Timothy Keenen is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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