Keep your head

Created on Thursday, 04 September 2014 01:00 | Written by Timothy Keenen

The 1967 classic “Cool Hand Luke,” starring Paul Newman, begins when an intoxicated Luke is sent to a Florida chain gang for cutting the heads off downtown parking meters. When the judge asks him why, he replies, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” He gets the name Cool Hand after winning a poker game by bluffing with nothing in his hand.

A City Council vote to approve the current proposal for the Wizer Block despite the Development Review Commission’s rejection may “seem like a good idea at the time.” but it is a bluff by the developer. The rejected plan is about maximum profit, not about maximum city character. Since this project violates the Urban Design Plan, which is code, the council should deny this project and plan for the future.

The vision of downtown Lake Oswego as a destination spot should include small-scale village structures filled with shopping and dining and next to adequate parking. Denser housing can be made available in our community outside the “compact shopping district.” The proposed Wizer plan rejected by the DRC reduces current retail space by 50 percent and adds to traffic congestion with a large residential apartment complex in three large buildings. The rejected plan cuts off the heads of our downtown parking meters.

Elections are coming up. After the judge sent Luke to the Florida chain gang, he faired poorly in the end. The vote of this council will dramatically sway voters. Council: Take some time. Sit back. Think this through. Is the rejected plan what is really best for our city? Is it a good idea at this time?

The rejected plan is a bad idea. Reject it. Keep the heads on our meters.

Timothy Keenen
Lake Oswego

Article originally posted with the Lake Review @

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