Protecting our front yard

Created on Thursday, 25 September 2014 01:00 | Written by Diana Petty

Last Saturday morning, on my way to the farmers market, I encountered a woman with a clipboard who stood on the sidewalk on First Avenue in the Wizer Block. The woman was canvassing in favor of the proposed development of 207 apartments plus retail space. She presented herself as wanting to live there.

Then I learned from a friend that this canvasser was actually a well-known political consultant. I returned and asked her if she was being paid to do this work, and she answered, “I am working for the developer, yes.”

People who live in Lake Oswego should know that paid operatives are presenting themselves as concerned citizens, while our unpaid friends and neighbors are donating their own time and money to oppose this massively out-of-place apartment complex.

The paid consultant suggested to me that opposition to the project is just a case of “NIMBY: Not In My Backyard.” I disagreed and can site several reasons for opposing it: increased traffic congestion, parking problems, cost to taxpayers, the opaque design, inadequate space for new businesses and restaurants, constant turnover of residents and more.

But there is also a communal reason for my opposition. The area around the Wizer Block is more than a shopping district. Millennium Plaza Park, over which these buildings would loom, is where we go for concerts on summer evenings and winter strolls. It’s where we end our foot races and parades, where we show off our town to visitors. It is also the place where we gathered in shock and grief for a vigil after 9/11.

No, our opposition is not a case of “NIMBY.” It is our front yard that we are trying to protect.

Diana Petty
Lake Oswego

Article originally posted with the Lake Review @ http://67.205.23.189/lor/49-opinion/234857-99166-readers-letters

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