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Agenda Item - 2021-04-20 - Number 4. - Public Comment - Russell Axelrod Axelrod Comments April 20, 2021 April 20, 2021 To: Lake Oswego City Council RE: Stafford Hamlet Community Vision Plan and City Stewardship Mayor Buck and Council Members, I'm Russ Axelrod,former Mayor and 30-yr resident of West Linn. I appreciate the opportunity to submit testimony/comments on the Stafford Hamlet agenda item, and I thank you for your public service. I'm here to briefly acknowledge and express my support of the new Stafford Hamlet Community Vision Plan, and to urge your incorporation of the plan and its concepts into the 3-city Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) I helped negotiate previously as Mayor of West Linn. As you know,we prepared the 5-party and 3-city IGAs to finally settle the matter that the neighboring cities,working with the Hamlet residents, should determine the future of Stafford and its integration with our communities. The Stafford area is a unique rural landscape, and the triangle area north of the Tualatin River in particular, is especially constrained when you consider the typical dysfunctional urban development that has plagued our cities, and most urban regions in America—the kind of dysfunctional urban development that a few speculative landowners have pushed for years for this area, and which they assume the cities will pay significantly to accommodate their narrow interests. We entered our IGAs because it was time to rethink how our communities grow responsibly and sustainably, and to ensure that we are addressing the values and quality of life interests of our residents. We recognize now that dense urban development should occur only in locations served by various modes of public transportation,with critical/affordable infrastructure (e.g., roads/sewer/water/power), and in proximity of employment centers or regions. We know now that dense urban development should not occur in areas that cannot be reasonably served by infrastructure—period! In Stafford we have an opportunity to reject the prior dysfunctional urban model - let's show other cities how to embrace growth responsibly and sustainably, and advance a new growth model for the urban/rural interface. This isn't an anti-growth reaction it's a smart growth vision! Small scale agriculture, habitat and environmental protections, and recreational opportunities can be integrated in our collective communities' development. Our farming industry is in great need for new young farmers, and this area can serve a focal point for small scale farming training and an opportunity for integration in our new trades-focused high school in construction planning to replace Athey Cr Middle School off Borland Rd in Stafford. This trade industry would greatly expand our farm-to-table programs, and could support affordable temporary housing for youth and others in training to pursue a career in farming. Axelrod Comments April 20, 2021 I would remind you that the Hamlet Vision Plan is very popular with the more than 2,000 residents of the Hamlet with nearly a 90%approval rating.This vision maintaining the rural character of a majority portion of Stafford is also extremely popular with our residents in West Linn and Lake Oswego (always in the 80-90%approval). I have testified similarly to Tualatin and West Linn on this issue recently. You have an opportunity, and I would argue an obligation,to further strengthen the interests of our collective residents' by integrating the Hamlet's Community Vision in our future planning. In the meantime, for the next 30-40 years anyway, I expect West Linn to be fiscally responsible in addressing our growth internally(not sprawling),with Mainstreet-type growth in the broader Willamette waterfront area and the Hwy 43 corridor. I'm requesting that the LO City Council direct your City Manager to have your special projects attorney David Powell work with West Linn's special attorney Jeff Condit, the City of Tualatin, and the Stafford Hamlet to incorporate the Hamlet's Community Vision in our 3-city IGA. I urge your support of the Community Vision Plan, and I'm making myself available to the three cities and the Hamlet to ensure smarter growth of our precious resources and communities in the future. Thank you for listening and thank you again for your public service. Russell B.Axelrod Resident and Former Mayor, City of West Linn rbaxelrod@vahoo.com/503.312.8464