Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Friday, November 8, 2013

Transit - SW Corridor Plan (part 2)

In this installment of Metro's Southwest Corridor Transit Plan, I bring you the:

Metro created this document in July, 2013, so the information is still fresh.   This booklet was a handout at Metro's open house on Wednesday evening at the Tigard Public Works Building.  I counted 4 people from Lake Oswego in attendance - one who is on the Tigard Transportation Advisory Committee, one who is a LO City Councilor, one who is on the LO Transportation Advisory Board, and your intrepid Sucker Creek reporter.  

The handout is full of the usual whys and wheres, but it gets interesting (for me anyway) on page 14 where it starts talking about the hows, and on page 16 where it talks about the whos.  

On page 14, they break down the hows into 2 parts:  Regulatory, and Financial.  The first step in any land use plan is to set the stage with a comp plan, zoning, and codes that support density in the areas that are destined for the desired, future transit (oriented development).  Throughput the document they refer to and development as "what the community wants", as if they know.  I doubt that even 5% of Lake Oswegans have ever heard of the SW Corridor Plan, and I am being generous!

Toolkit: Regulatory framework that sets the stage
The Southwest Corridor Land Use Vision expresses the collective aspirations of the communities in the Southwest corridor. High capacity transit has the potential to have a catalytic effect on adjacent land uses and help achieve this vision. This will work best if transit supportive regulations and policies are in place well in advance of the high capacity transit investment. These policies
will both support the land use vision now and help to achieve the community’s desired goals
over time. There are a number of regulatory tools and strategies that can help foster transit ready communities; however, their application differs greatly depending on the context in which they are applied. 

There follows a list of strategies that facilitate creating the regulatory framework necessary to accomplish their vision.    ... unbundling parking (not including parking with each business location),
shared parking (lessens overall parking capacity), density maximums and building height ("vertical density"), trip generation reductions (discourage use of automobiles).... and more in Appendix B.

Toolkit: Financial incentives that set the stage

In addition to regulatory and policy changes, the public sector can help stimulate investment
in strategic locations. These tools can help bridge the financial gap between what is financially feasible today and what is desired by the community. In many cases the community’s vision is above and beyond what the current market can provide. Investments in the public realm (such as streetscape enhancements and transit investments) are one way to send a message to the private sector that the public is committed to making the community vision a reality. Direct financial incentives provided to key catalytic projects offer a “proof of concept” – and through strategic investment in such projects, can lead to increased value in the market. Eventually, this can allow for private investment without public support. 

Transit Oriented Tax Exemption (TOTE) 
Vertical Housing Program
brownfield cleanup
System Development Charges strategies 

urban renewal
Transit Oriented Development Program 
land acquisition and banking. 

On page 16, the chart shows which entity is responsible for what.  Metro and cities are responsible for:   Policies and incentives to address regulatory framework and financial incentives 

This last detail is significant because whatever rules and regulations Metro makes, local jurisdictions have to follow.  This top-down government means all communities within reach of  Metro's grasp have no real independence but are relegated to taxing authorities and utility districts with dense transit communities.


  1. Wonder if the Save Our Village people are aware of this? If you really want to save our village, this is what you need to fight isn't it?

    1. You are right on target, Gerry. We must keep our eye on the ball: overarching code and comprehensive plan changes that would modify density, transportation, parking, commerce and budgets throughout our city and region in one swoop.

  2. Karen, your action to provide $5 Million in public taxpayer monies for the Wizer's project served to bring forth Save Our Village.

    With the example of the Wizer's project, rather, than our Code being "overarching"; it provides too much opportunity for extreme density.

    Our Code and Comprehensive Plan need to be changed to protect the character and livability of Lake Oswego.

    Karen, you are OFF target-again!

    1. The amount of LORA funds going to the Wizer development is closer to $6 million. There is a $750k cash donation for construction thrown in that most people miss in the development agreement. It's about the comp plan and codes, but the Urban Renewal District has a lot to do with extreme development also. The council could end any more payments from LORA and just pay the debt off.