Rarely is someone so frank and so insightful about the economic potential of downtown LO and what a constant flow of redevelopment funds (tax-backed debt), started in the in the 80s, has done to the East End. Easy money. No voter interference in fantasy plans of a destination shopping center.
When the original urban renewal plan was completed and downtown was not as vibrant as planned, the plan was renewed with even more projects to keep the funds rolling in. The number of blocks the city has purchased and sold or subsidized is astounding. And the downtown still isn't "vibrant". What is wrong with this picture?
What citizens are now realizing is that the city, with or without the council, intends to keep the plan alive indefinately. Great job security for bureaucrats, developers and consultants, and bonus points for Central Planners from the top down. But I stray. Read the commentary in Thursday's Lake Oswego Review for an inside look at the impact LORA has had on the city.
Note: The measure that requires a vote to approve creation of, or spending on urban renewal districts in Clackamas County relates to land in the county only, not inside an incorporated city. If Lake Oswego citizens want the same right, they or the city council could initiate a measure to change the city charter. One has to ask what is keeping the council from doing this. ???
Lake Oswego Review, July 2, 2015
After 26 years in downtown LO, 'I think there's a better way'
Citizen View by Phil Chizum
Phil Chizum is the co-owner of Glass Butterfly in downtown Lake Oswego
I agree with the neighbors and businesses opposed to the proposed large apartment retail complex on the Wizer Block in downtown Lake Oswego.
Lake Oswego is known for good schools and being a residential community. It is not a destination for shoppers, because of the natural barrier of the Willamette River and the opening of many shops at Bridgeport Village and zon Kruse Way. It will be difficult to lease retail space in these conditions. Most people do not drive to Lake Oswego to shop and live within five miles of downtown.
The Lake Oswego Redevelooment Agency has improved the downtown look of the area - but at what cost? Loss of local businesses, subsidizing developers with our tax dollars, higher rents and always fighting with the neighborhoods, businesses and citizens who do not want it.
Read the entire article at The Lake Oswego Review online.