Aug 19, 2006

In Troutdale, New Access Requirement=No Access

Tuesday, August 15 the Troutdale City Council approved a land use application for the Tyson's Place Condominiums by a vote of 4-2. I voted no. So did councilor Chris Gorsek.

One of the conditions of approval was that there be no access through Troutdale's Sedona Park neighborhood. The Planning Commission's ruling had no such restriction. We will be voting on the findings of fact and conclusions of law for the city council's ruling on Tuesday, August 22.

For details on this issue you should download the complete city council packet(WARNING: 15.8MB PDF) which includes the staff report, decision and findings of the Troutdale Planning Commission, information from the developer, correspondence between all parties, and the appeal from the Sedona Park residents.

For a quick summary, read the Gresham Outlook article here:
Council requires new access for development

You can read a more detailed Gresham Outlook article about the land use appeal here

You can also read an early comment from a Sedona Park resident made at the February 14, 1006 Troutdale City Council meeting here.

I voted against the majority of the city council on this quasi-judicial decision for one reason- If this land use vote is upheld on August 22, the decision essentially landlocks the Tyson's Place parcel of land.

The property owner of Tyson's Place currently has lawful access to their property on Edgefield Ave., which runs through the Sedona Park neighborhood of Troutdale. The Sedona Park neighborhood was opposed to this access. It was the main reason they appealed the Troutdale Planning Commission's decision to approve the development with access onto Edgefield Ave.

The Sedona Park neighbors insisted that access for Tyson's Place be onto 257th street instead of through the Sedona Park neighborhood. This is where the landlocking begins: City and County development codes forbid access onto 257th from the Tyson's Place land parcel, except for a right of way for emergency vehicles. The other access suggested by the neighbors was through a property next door- the Troutdale Terrace apartment complex. The problem with this access? The owner of the Tyson's Place parcel has no right of access to Troutdale Terrace, which is owned by someone else.

In summary, the city council voted to approve a land use application for a parcel that already had legal access through the Sedona Park neighborhood, but as a condition of approval denied access through the legal access point and instead required access through either 257th, which is not allowed according to city and county development code, or through a piece of land that the land use applicant has no legal right of entry.

I believe this decision violates city and county code, does nothing to solve the concerns of the Sedona Park neighbors, and burdens the city with unnecessary and significant financial costs and legal risks that far outweigh any benefit for the residents of Tyson's Place or the City of Troutdale.

I'll write more about this issue after the meeting on August 22.

Technorati tags: Sedona Park, Tyson's Place, Troutdale City Council, Multnomah County

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