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Election on road-widening projects is off the table

With challenge withdrawn, council cancels vote


by: REVIEW FILE PHOTO - A car travels on Goodall Road, which has been widened multiple times over the years as vacant properties were developed. An election for voters to weigh in on recently approved road expansions here has been canceled.Lake Oswego residents will not vote on recent road-widening projects after all.

The Lake Oswego City Council last week repealed a resolution calling for a special election this spring.

Chris Robinson, chairman of the Forest Highlands Neighborhood Association, had challenged several council-approved road expansions taking some private property to widen stretches of Goodall Road by about 4 feet, adding pathways and similar amenities as new development takes place.

“It was kind of being imposed upon us,” he said at the time. “The idea of pathways is wonderful, but when it involves the taking of private property, that has a diminishing effect on the value of that property.”

An unusual provision in Lake Oswego’s charter allowed Robinson to push the projects to a special election by gathering 25 signatures from voters. The provision applies to projects where the total pavement width would be 20 feet or more after construction.

But Robinson apparently had a change of heart after discussing some alternative routes to addressing his concerns with the neighborhood’s planning and development, according to the city.

Last week, he submitted signatures from some of the petition signers rescinding their requests for an election on the projects, allowing the city to forego the vote, which would have taken place this March.

Robinson did not return a request for comment.

In late December, Scot Siegel, the city’s planning director, sent him a letter discussing ways the Forest Highlands neighborhood might launch a neighborhood planning process to deal with inconsistencies in street improvements and other issues associated with real estate development.

To begin that process, the neighborhood’s directing board must adopt a resolution formally requesting neighborhood planning assistance, Siegel wrote. The city could then provide professional staff to collaborate with neighborhood residents on planning issues.

“The end result may be a comprehensive neighborhood plan, or a more focused/tactical response to a specific issue or a small set of issues,” Siegel said.

Kara Hansen can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 107. Follow her on Twitter, @LOreporter.