A huge Thanks! to all the West Linn merchants and other businesses who donated items for the auction.
Help Save West Linn
The West Linn city council and staff act as though their prime directive is to tend their own future careers, selling out the citizen of West Linn in favor of regional initiatives. Throughout the process, before even seeing the applications, city staff acted as surrogates for LOT, strongly advocating for the LOT permits.
They have been cajoled, flattered and threatened into throwing the citizens under the bus to curry favor with their colleagues in LO and Tigard and at METRO and in Salem.
The councilors' cruel joke on the community, on their own constituents, will not go unanswered. Their ethical and technical errors have resulted in two legal actions.
On Monday, March 11th, STOP filed 3 LUBA Notices of Intent to Appeal. There were so many violations of West Linn codes and plans in the councilors' conduct that it will be difficult to select the strongest cases.
The legal record is over 12,000 pages, 3-ring binders stacked 7 feet wide. Of course LOT attorneys prepared this record, but that didn't stop West Linn staff from trying to extort fees from us to provide us with the copies that we are legally entitled to free. We are currently negotiating with the LOT attorneys and the West Linn city attorney to get all of relevant documents included in the record for LUBA, while they drag their feet and toss out technicalities to keep the most damaging documents out of the record.
STOP has also filed a lawsuit in Clackamas County Circuit Court to void the council vote, citing the numerous violations of the public meeting laws in the secret back room negotiations that the council and staff engaged in to get LOT their permits. Simply because they have always gotten away with violating the law and see nothing wrong with conducting illegal secret negotiations should not be a precedent for West Linn's future.
Meanwhile, LOT is back to their bullying tactics, fast tracking their logging operation to clear all the trees off the Mapleton lots, putting construction fences in the right of way, parking construction vehicles in the street, hauling untarped loads of construction debris down the street, in general, acting every bit the bad neighbor that we vainly warned the council about.
Enforcement response from West Linn has been nonexistent.
Please feel free to forward your contribution to the legal appeal fund at STOP, LLC, 19363 Willamette Dr., #332, West Linn, OR 97068
Saturday, April 13, 2013
A huge Thanks! to all the West Linn merchants and other businesses who donated items for the auction.
Click on any pic for a full scale slide show.
Ground Zero - An aerial flyover of the "Scenic" LO-Tigard Industrial "Campus" in the middle of the Robinwood Residential Neighborhood - Please click on any picture for a full size slide show
|View from the northwest, from over Cedaroak Drive|
|View from the southwest, from over Mapleton|
|Wide view from the south, showing 'compatibility' with surrounding residential neighborhood|
|Closer view from the south showing clear cut debris on the cleared industrial site|
Thursday, February 28, 2013
LOT is proposing a new regional Water Treatment Plant in the middle of the Robinwood R-10 residential zone to treat up to 38 million gallons per day (MGD) of Clackamas River water. Miles of 42" and 48" pipeline will pump water from the intake structure in the Clackamas River over to Tigard, in Washington County.
At the West Linn Planning Commission hearing on Thursday, November 1st, 2012 the 7 Commissioners unanimously rejected both LOT applications, for the water treatment plant and the pipeline, citing 9 different codes that the proposal did not meet.
LOT staff appealed their stunning loss at the Planning Commission level to the West Linn council, where they were confident that the West Linn city manager, who lives in LO, could prevail and get LOT their permits. LOT staff, without consulting their elected councilors, decided to offer a $5 million bribe to the West Linn council to buy a favorable decision on appeal. Attorney Pam Beery tried to cloak the this as a "license" in perpetuity, for use of the right-of-way under Hwy 43.
Bribe in hand, the 4 sycophant councilors convened for decision on Monday, February 11th to sell out the Robinwood neighborhood and the Community Development Code for a bit of ready cash to backfill the budget.
Same old secret back room corruption as back in 1967, when LO bribed their way to Clackamas County permits to build their plant in Robinwood.
Kovash continued to hold forth using the same dismissive language in referring to West Linn citizens and the Planning Commission, but cloaking it in paternalistic concern.
Carson croaked her agreement.
Jones and Tan delivered the punchline to the cruel hoax, inexplicably reversing their supposed positions from 2 weeks earlier in nonsensical speeches.
Monday, January 28, 2013
When the LOT partners appealed their unanimous losses at the West Linn Planning Commission, the West Linn Council was supposed to decide on the appeal by Monday, 1/28. That night, the councilors findings were tied 2 to 2, which would sustain the Planning Commission finding against LOT. Before the matter to come to a vote, the Mayor acted out a well scripted farce, executing an end around to evade holding the actual vote.
Here is the video on the city website:
Lt. Colonel Kovash pulls the pin at 1:27:43
The Beery law firm attorney and West Linn City Manager, who continuously stifled any West Linn citizen who tried to speak up over the last couple years, sat curiously mute as Kovash acted out his fake faux pas and then they shared a hearty guffaw at the antics enacted on behalf of their LOT masters.
Everyone else played out their roles with faces of stone.
It is however, a huge ethical breech that should see Kovash disqualified from the case and removed from the chamber. Any councilor failing to support this would be tainted.
LOT money does talk, right out of the West Linn councils' mouths.
Scripted by West Linn city manager Chris Jordan and LOT lead attorney Ed Sullivan.
The cruelest joke is that West Linn will probably never see a single penny of that $5 million bribe that Chris Jordan and his sock puppets pimped us out for. The LO City Manager has stated that they don't intend to even hold a vote on if they will approve payment of the bribe until at least Spring of 2015.
Friday, November 23, 2012
1. Taking 38 million gallons per day from the Clackamas River.
2. Exporting Clackamas River water over to Tigard (and Beaverton and Hillsboro) in Washington County.
3. Developing the Stafford area with LOT water, as stated in their state water permit application and the Carollo report.
4. Suing Mapleton homeowners' association members in West Linn to condemn their protective covenants so that LOT can build the project. Subpoenaing Mapleton homeowners' emails, just because they can.
5. Expanding upon an old industrial use, granted by Clackamas County way back in 1966, in the middle of an existing West Linn residential neighborhood.
6. Imposing a regional industrial scale project, with massive, square, metal sided structures, that are totally out of character, in the middle of an R10 residential neighborhood.
7. Destroying the peace and quiet of the neighborhood and impacting all the businesses in the Robinwood business district with 3 years of heavy industrial construction, generating over 50,000 heavy truck trips and tens of thousands of other vehicle trips past our homes, schools and businesses.
Using the lots adjacent to Mary S Young State Park as the staging area for the Horizontal Directional Drilling operation under the river, blocking park access and disturbing the peace of our urban refuge.
8. Exposing the entire neighborhood to the severe limits to LOT liability for any damages caused by construction or operation of the plant and pipeline.
No insurance for 'acts of god' like earthquake of landslide, that may cause catastrophic damage from the 2 million gallon reservoir and the 48" pipeline through the neighborhood and business district.
9. Subverting our West Linn City Hall, with our own city employees bending all the rules to help LOT and hurt our West Linn citizens and businesses.
10. Cheating our city out of any proportional community benefit per our Comprehensive Plan. This project is not consistent with the overall needs of the community, per Community Development Code 60.070.
11. Appealing their unanimous defeat at our Planning Commission to our West Linn City Council.
Betting (and winning) that their undue influence in City Hall buys a reversal, just like LO got on appeal on 1967.
Pursuing permits to impose their will and their project on West Linn.
Our fellow citizens on the Planning Commission voted 7-0 against this proposal TWICE, once for the plant and again for the pipeline.
Seven West Linn Neighborhood Associations voted against this proposal.
Help Save West Linn and Stop the LOT Water Project!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
from the new intake tower in the middle of the Clackamas River
to the huge Water Treatment Plant in a Robinwood residential neighborhood
to the massive 48" Clean Water Pipeline to Tigard, way over in Washington County.
1 & 2. Sending Clackamas River Water to Washington County.
Decades hence, future Clackamas County residents will be shaking their heads, wondering what we were thinking, who was asleep, when the LOT partners were allowed to dip their big straw into the Clackamas River and pump it to Washington County, to Tigard, to Beaverton, to Hillsboro. At peak, LOT will pump 38 million gallons per day of water out of the Clackamas during the hottest summer days when river flow is lowest. At least 20 million is slated for Tigard and other Washington County cities.
This is the Oregon version of Los Angeles stealing the waters of the Owens Valley in California, over a hundred years ago, to fuel their explosive growth.
3. Providing water for Stafford Development.
Almost 80% of West Linn citizens oppose Stafford urbanization, because it would put overwhelming burden on our already crowded school classrooms and our failing local roads. West Linn has adopted city policy opposing Stafford urbanization. In their state water permit application and in the Carollo Report used to justify the project, LOT wants to provide water for thousands of new homes in Stafford.
4. Suing West Linn homeowners to condemn their covenants.
The residents of Mapleton Avenue in Robinwood have covenants, protecting their quiet neighborhood by restricting lots to residential use.
To build the new plant and pipeline, greedy LOT is suing these residents to condemn the deed restrictions, again threatening the senior citizens, clouding titles, lowering home values and costing these homeowners for legal defense.
5. Expanding upon an old industrial use in a residential zone - Rezoning versus CUP.
This is not another minor remodel to serve LO.
This is a new major regional infrastructure project.
It is a complete re-design and expansion of the facility, for a new use, to provide water to another city.
This new industrial use should require a zoning change to General Industrial Zoning.
As part of that process, the LOTWP should show an exhaustive alternative site analysis,
showing that no other site was feasible, especially in their own cities.
This is a gross mis-use of the CUP provisions in our code and opens the door for any entity to use residential land in West Linn for any utility that benefits another jurisdiction.
All of the pretty wide angle fantasy renderings in the application, showing the trees and landscaping as they will appear decades in the future, can't hide the huge industrial scale of the Water Treatment Plant in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Their artistic renderings presented to the Planning Commission hardly showed the buildings at all, behind the trees, as if they were applying for a permit to build an arboretum.
Huge blocky flat roofed buildings, cheap metal siding and bright intrusive security lighting are not compatible with a wooded street of mostly single story homes.
7. 3 years of heavy industrial construction in the middle of our R10 residential neighborhood and through the Robinwood business district.
Periods of 24 hour a day construction, requiring only a sign off by the West Linn City Manager, who lives in Lake Oswego.
Per the application, at least 7700 heavy truck trips down Highway 43 and onto our 20 foot wide streets, just to build the water treatment plant.
Thousands more to excavate and install the massive 48" pipeline through our neighborhood and then the Highway 43 business district.
Estimates are up to 80,000 one way heavy truck trips, with tens of thousands more for smaller vehicles.
Imagine the untold hours of West Linn citizens lives wasted, waiting for flaggers, waiting behind convoys of heavy equipment, 48" pipe segments and grinding, double dump-trucks, so LO and Tigard don't have to inconvenience their own citizens. What is your time worth?
8. There are severe limits to LOTWP liability for any damages caused by construction or operation of the plant and pipeline.
ORS 30.273 limits LOTWP liability for injury or death to $500,000 for a single claimant and $1 million for multiple claimants.
The liability limit for property damage is $100,000 for a single claimant and $500,000 for multiple claimants.
That's correct, $500,000 total for all property damage, in a neighborhood where that may not cover a single home!
This is nowhere close to replacement value for homes and yards washed away by a huge overflow or undermined by slow leaks and seepage. These events are not covered by homeowners policies!
LOT is boring ONE THOUSAND piling foundations 60 feet deep to build the new treatment plant and a 2 million gallon water reservoir on liquifiable soils, over a slide zone, looming on a bluff above our homes. Soil under the plant site is type F, the worst type. The geologists' reports were utterly discredited at the Planning Commission hearings.
9. Undue influence and deference of West Linn City Hall
The project has no inherent benefit to West Linn or to the Robinwood neighborhood.
This is not a school or park or fire station or police station or part of our own local utility distribution. These facilities all have an inherent community benefit, which is why they are allowed in a residential zone under a CUP.
The West Linn Planning Director, who does not live in West Linn, found that LOT could apply for this project under our CUP process. Ever since, the entire West Linn city staff has bent over backwards and jumped through hoops in deference to LOT, sifting through our community plans for every shred of language that might help LOT, while completely ignoring code and plan language opposing it.
The degree of collusion between the people whose salaries and benefits we pay with our tax dollars and the LO representatives is astounding and infuriating.
It took a Planning Commissioner to politely point out from the dais that
the huge 48" transmission pipeline is a Transportation project, and therefore
LOT IS REQUIRED BY OUR CODE TO UPGRADE THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE HWY 43 CONSTRUCTION ZONE TO THE CURRENT CITY STANDARD, AS ADOPTED IN OUR CURRENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM PLAN.
THIS IS NOT A BENEFIT, IT IS A REQUIREMENT. IT IS NOT WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE PLANNING STAFF TO WAIVE THIS REQUIREMENT.
THE WEST LINN PLANNING STAFF COMPLETELY IGNORED THIS REQUIREMENT AND HOPED NO ONE WOULD NOTICE.
WHEN PRESSED BY THE COMMISSION, THE ATTORNEY WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE REPRESENTING US, BEGRUDGINGLY ADMITTED THAT THE CITY OF WEST LINN COULD REQUIRE THIS FROM LOT.
10. The only community benefit proffered for this permit is the water inter-tie that we already have and a squishy $5 million bribe that probably won't stand up to a court challenge.
The water inter-tie and inter-governmental agreement that allows LO and West Linn to provide emergency water to each other has been is place since the 1990's and was used by LO as the community benefit for a water plant remodel at that time. The creation of these inter-ties are a matter of public policy.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
From the very beginning, the Robinwood residential area was the only site considered for the huge new LOT water plant because "it is the cheapest." According to an LOT application, West Linn is LOT's "lowest cost option."
Land in LO and Tigard is too precious to be squandered on a site to process their own drinking water. LO and Tigard citizens' sensibilities are too fragile to endure the 3 years of industrial construction in their midst.
Why bother wasting a single LOT tax dollar examining alternative sites when cheap and easy West Linn is right next door, with your special friends ensconced in West Linn City Hall to grease the skids and pull the levers so that your project can roll over the Robinwood neighborhood without any pretense of official opposition.
Sure, when a meeting got sticky, there were a few quick convenient lies about alternative site analysis, but those lies evaporated under close questioning, and to date, no paperwork or other evidence of any kind has surfaced. Just like those phantom appraisals that showed no depreciation of Mapleton home values.
The pipeline engineering contractor did examine a couple dozen potential pipeline routes across the Willamette, but every single one terminated in the Robinwood neighborhood, none in LO.
There was even the laughably ridiculous assertion that there was no site in all of LO at the correct elevation for water pumping purposes, as if a $250 million engineering and construction budget couldn't fix that.
No City worthy of its name would allow this project: expansion of an old grandfathered non-conforming industrial use in the middle of a built out residential neighborhood.
he region is awash in water treatment capacity. By the time the project is built, there will be no wholesale market for the excess capacity. There is currently at least 12mgd of unused capacity on the east side of the Willamette. Portland is desperate for any additional revenue stream from Bull Run. Hillsboro is proposing a new mega-plant on the Willamette in Wilsonville, in an actual industrial zone and Tualatin recently agreed to opt into that plan.Based on the report, the City of Lake Oswego proposes to increase daily water capacity from 16 up to 24 million gallons per day(MGD) when their average daily use for 2011 was only 4.7 MGD and peak daily demand was around 12 MGD for the past 3 years, since conservation measures were enacted.
Based on the report, up to 20 million gallons per day of Clackamas River water will be exported to Tigard, way over in Washington County.
(West Linn uses 8MGD from the Clackamas on the hottest peak day)
The goal of the Carollo Report was to allow LO to vest all of their water permits on the Clackamas and become a major regional player in the water market.
To create the numbers to vest the permits, the Carollo Report presumed annual 3.5% population growth in LO and Tigard through 2040, even though LO population has actually been falling, right through the bubble.
That still doesn't create enough usage for LO to grab all their permitted water, so they need 4 MGD of additional potential usage from West Linn now, and from Stafford triangle development in the future. That is why LOT is so frantic to have West Linn approve a new water inter-tie agreement, when the one that we have in place is sufficient and valid.
The LOT project requires a new intake structure in the Clackamas River which will require removing hundreds of truckloads of gravel to reshape the river bottom to direct the flow to their intake. Their new 42" Raw Water Pipeline (RWP) will be trenched through Gladstone and then bored under the Willamette River and under Mary S Young State Park, to the two state owned lots at the northeast park entrance on Mapleton. From there the RWP is trenched up Mapleton Avenue to the proposed plant site.
The new 48" Fresh Water Pipeline (FWP) will be trenched, 8-10 feet wide and as deep as necessary, up Mapleton to Hwy43 and then north, through the entire Robinwood business district, all the way to downtown LO, where it will again be bored underground to spare the LO business district any disruption.
The Carollo Report only estimates a .5% water savings, not 36% or 50%. Using the Carollo charts, at 36% conservation LO will never need the additional capacity for their current water users and for build out within current boundaries. At 50% conservation, LO will be able to develop newly annexed land in the Stafford basin without the additional water capacity.
The Carollo Report states that the proposed project is Tigard’s third best option. The best option for Tigard is continuing to buy wholesale Bull Run water from Portland, which hasn’t raised rates as the Carollo Report predicts.
The Carollo Report includes the Stafford Triangle in the proposed service area. It is mentioned numerous times in the report and is shown on the service area map. LO expansion into Stafford is one of the justifications for the new plant and capacity increase. The Carollo Report estimates 50% growth in the service area when the entire LO build out is calculated at 5%.
The original cost estimate of the plant has grown from $128 million to $250 million and will probably rise as new challenges are discovered, such as the liquifiable soils under the proposed treatment plant site. These additional cost will drive the water prices in L.O. and Tigard dramatically upwards, at least 4 times more in Tigard.
Summer flows on the Clackamas River are currently at the mandated minimum limit BEFORE the new LOT intake structure begins pumping.
The real motive for the Carollo Report is that LO decided to squeeze everyone else out to maximize their water rights on the Clackamas River and needed a reverse engineered solution to justify this water grab.
Regarding water rights, the Carollo Report says ‘use them or lose them.’ If the LOT project is approved, West Linn and all of Clackamas County won’t be able to increase water usage for future economic development and growth.
It is apparent that the Carollo Report was written to justify 3 predetermined conclusions:
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
2. Law - such neglect to take legal proceedings for such a long time as to imply the abandonment of a right.
It is the official opinion of the West Linn Planning staff, rendered in the Staff Report, that the citizens of West Linn are rendered moot and mute, without recourse.
Who is in charge of updating and maintaining our city codes and community plans to protect our homes, our neighborhoods, our peaceful lifestyle, our investment in this community? The West Linn Planning staff?
This is the lesson that all those new folks up on top of the hill need to learn:
The West Linn Development Code is written to protect the prerogatives and profits of predatory developers like the LOT Project Partnership, not you.
You will be next, as soon as all that new water is available for Stafford basin development.
Monday, October 8, 2012
A panel of wizened experts pour over the plans, questioning assumptions and solutions, to find potential efficiencies and savings in the project before the final plans are drafted and sent out to bid.
A Value Engineering Study will never happen on LOT water project, because the first thing that would get thrown out would be the the entire piping water from the Clackamas River to Tigard presumption.
Tigard ratepayers will be paying through the nose for a generation for fancy boutique Clackamas River water via LO, compared to the bargain rates they could get from the Wilsonville treatment plant, that was built for a fraction of what LOT is proposing in Robinwood.
LOT advocates will tell you that Tigard can't drink Willamette River water, based on a advisory vote taken years back when wildlife biologists were finding deformed fish in the stretch above the Falls. Subsequent studies revealed that the deformations were caused by naturally occurring viruses, not pollution.
The Wilsonville plant has been treating Willamette River water for 10 years now, and we haven't notice a proliferation of third eyeballs amongst our neighbors to the south. In fact, if you drink any Coke products, including Dasani, Full Throttle, Nestea and Powerade, you are probably drinking Willamette River water treated at the Wilsonville plant.
Tigard ratepayers were never asked if they wanted to pay double or triple for the LOT boutique water. None of this would really be our concern, except that the feasibility of the entire project hinges on dumping the construction project on Robinwood.