Created on Thursday, 28 August 2014 01:00 | Written by Lynn Haar
Recent letters in The Review have challenged the Development Review Commission’s ruling to deny the Wizer Block plan. On the contrary, the DRC should be commended as unpaid volunteers devoting their time to preserve the beauty and character of our town. Listening to the DRC, I heard many references to the various codes that it had clearly studied.
When I saw the initial Wizer proposal last year, I was very concerned about the massive size of the five-story structures. They were quite uncomplimentary to existing redeveloped downtown buildings. This winter, the DRC gave the developers the opportunity to redesign and break up the buildings into “small-scale structures.” Unfortunately, the developer did not take this opportunity to get it right. Instead, he changed some of the design to be more traditional. But one of the buildings, so clearly presented in graphic form at a DRC hearing, is nearly as large as a football field! And all three buildings still have unbroken facades. In addition, the apartment complex proposed for the Wizer Block would be built in a redevelopment plan-specified compact shopping district. It cannot, by any stretch of some individuals’ imagination, be construed as true mixed use when only 13 percent of the structures are planned to include retail.
As a Save Our Village volunteer, I am disheartened that some would suggest that the DRC did not adequately research the applicable codes. If it were not for the time and efforts of the DRC members, we Lake Oswegans would be stuck with a huge apartment complex that does not reflect designated small-scale, village character-like structures.
I can only hope that the City Council will respect and uphold the DRC’s ruling and the sentiments of various neighborhood associations, Evergreen residents and the many voices of concerned Lake Oswego citizens like me.
Article originally posted with the Lake Review @ http://www.pamplinmedia.com/lor/49-opinion/231581-94729-readers-letters