City Proposed Ballot Measure 3-575

City Proposed Ballot Measure 3-575

The Lake Oswego City Council has referred proposed ballot measure 3-575 to voters to allow additional protections for the City’s parks and natural spaces, while allowing the City to prepare for climate change.

Proposed ballot measure 3-575 would allow additional protections for an identified list of parks and natural spaces, including prohibiting construction of new athletic facilities, commercial logging, construction of new public streets and roads, and construction or installation of new telecommunications facilities in designated Natural Areas. The proposed measure would allow the City to address issues the community has identified, including maintenance and upkeep, accessibility for people of various abilities, preparing for climate change, and fire prevention measures.

If passed, proposed ballot measure 3-575 would not increase taxes.

Possible election outcomes:

  • If the City’s referred proposed measure 3-575 and the citizen proposed initiative 3-568 both pass, whichever measure receives the most “yes” votes will be adopted into law.
  • If the City’s referred proposed measure 3-575 does not pass and the citizen proposed initiative 3-568 passes, the citizen proposed initiative 3-568 will be adopted into law.
  • If the City’s referred proposed measure 3-575  passes and the citizen proposed initiative 3-568 does not pass, the City’s proposed measure will be adopted into law.
  • If the City’s referred proposed measure 3-575 and the citizen proposed initiative 3-568 both fail to pass, Chapter X of the Lake Oswego Charter would not change.

About Proposed Measure 3-575

The City is referring proposed ballot measure 3-575 to voters this November. The proposed measure allows the City to take action regarding existing and future natural spaces, including wildfire protection. The City’s proposed park measure would address an identified list of parks and natural spaces.

Proposed Ballot Measure 3-575 would address:

  • Protection of wildlife habitat and water quality
  • Restoration and preservation of natural spaces in a changing climate
  • Preventative and responsive measures to prevent and contain wildfires
  • Planning for neighborhood livability and connecting to neighborhoods
  • Equitable access to parks and natural spaces for all residents

Background

The proposed “Preservation of Natural Areas” amendment of the City’s Charter would revise Chapter X of the existing Charter to “preserve, protect, restore, and maintain the scenic and aesthetic qualities, ecological functions, water quality and wildlife habitat of Natural Areas that are owned by the City of Lake Oswego while also allowing for their use and enjoyment.”

The City undertook a public engagement program to assess public attitudes and develop proposed changes to the City’s Charter. The City’s engagement program included an online survey created by the city that was completed by 355 residents; a statistically representative poll of 405 Lake Oswego voters; two public listening conversations attended by 26 local residents; and 26 individual conversations with community leaders and stakeholders from the community. 

Members of the community indicated support for a broad range of uses, while also protecting natural spaces. Several common themes emerged during the discussions, including:

  • The protection and maintenance of parks and natural spaces.
  • Protecting water quality and wildlife habitat.
  • Ensuring parks and natural spaces are accessible for people of various abilities.
  • A focus on the need to prepare for climate change, particularly the need for preventative measures to prevent and contain wildfires, and protect wildfire response capabilities.

Using this feedback, the City’s elected leaders have proposed a Charter amendment that would allow:

  • Maintenance and education projects that seek to eliminate invasive species, restore native species, and mitigate fire hazards.
  • Maintenance and renovation of trails for walking, hiking, wheelchairs and mobility devices, horseback riding, and non-motorized bicycle travel. Trail construction would only occur after an environmental assessment and review by the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Advisory Board and would have to be appropriate to the conditions of a Natural Area.
  • Construction, maintenance, renovation, and replacement of picnic and sanitary facilities, boardwalks, benches, and interpretive displays where appropriate.

The proposed amendment would prohibit construction of new athletic facilities, commercial logging, construction of new public streets and roads, and construction or installation of new telecommunications facilities in designated Natural Areas.

Other uses and facilities related to restoration or access to Natural Areas would only be allowed under the Amendment after City Council adoption of a property-specific master plan for the designated area. The Council would have to engage the public in the development of the master plan, including Neighborhood Associations and all property owners within 300 feet of the Natural Area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What would the City’s proposed ballot measure 3-575 do?

The City’s proposed measure would allow additional protections to an identified list of parks and natural spaces and would establish a community engagement requirement if the City sought to make changes to an area. If passed, the proposed measure would allow:

  • Maintenance and education projects that that seek to eliminate invasive species, restore native species, and mitigate fire hazards.
  • Maintenance and renovation of trails for walking, hiking, wheelchairs and mobility devices, horseback riding, and non-motorized bicycle travel. Trail construction would only occur after an environmental assessment and review by the Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Advisory Board and would have to be appropriate to the conditions of a Natural Area.
  • Construction, maintenance, renovation, and replacement of picnic and sanitary facilities, boardwalks, benches, and interpretive displays where appropriate.

For the identified list of parks and natural spaces, the proposed measure would prohibit:

  • Construction of new athletic facilities
  • Commercial logging
  • Construction of new public streets and roads
  • Construction or installation of new telecommunications facilities in designated Natural Areas

What parks would be included in the City’s proposed ballot measure 3-575?

The proposed revision to the City Charter would address Springbrook Park; Cooks Butte; Woodmont Nature Park; Hallinan Woods; Stevens Meadow; Bryant Woods; Canal Acres; Cornell Natural Area, Glenmorrie Greenway, Kerr Open Space, Lamont Springs, River Run I and II, Southshore, and the Natural Areas of West Waluga, Iron Mountain and Freepons Parks additional protections of water quality, wildlife habitat, wildfire prevention and containment, aesthetic values, and ecological function and develop trails accessible to people with different physical abilities and needs.

Why did the City Council decide to refer proposed ballot measure 3-575 to voters?

The City undertook a public engagement program to assess public attitudes and develop proposed changes to the City’s Charter. Members of the community voiced opinions regarding parks and natural spaces. Using this feedback, the City’s elected leaders voted to refer the proposed Charter amendment to voters.

When will the City’s proposed measure 3-575 be on the ballot?

The City Council has referred the proposed measure to be on the November 2021 ballot.

What is the difference between the City Council’s proposed measure and the citizen’s proposed initiative 3-568 that has qualified for the ballot?

Side-By-Side Comparison – City Proposed Measure 3-575 compared to Love LO Parks Proposed Measure 3-568

Provision

City Proposed Measure

Love LO Parks Proposed Measure

Parks Covered

Springbrook Park; Cooks Butte Park; Woodmont Nature Park; Hallinan Woods; Stevens Meadow; Bryant Woods; Canal Acres; Cornell Natural Area; Glenmorrie Greenway; Kerr Open Space; Lamont Springs; River Run I and II; Southshore; Kelly Creek; Pennington Park; Sunny Slope; and the natural areas of West Waluga, East Waluga, George Rogers, Iron Mountain and Freepons Parks.

 

Would require the Council to adopt a map identifying protected areas 60 days after passage, if the measure passes.

Springbrook Park; Cooks Butte Park; Iron Mountain Park; Woodmont Nature Park; Hallinan Woods; Stevens Meadow; Bryant Woods; Canal Acres; Cornell Natural Area, Glenmorrie Greenway, Kerr Open Space, Lamont Springs, River Run I and II, Southshore, and the natural areas of West Waluga Park

 

Would define the acreage of each park and natural space, if the measure passes.

Definitions

Would define Natural Area as a property that is managed to retain or improve its natural condition, environmental values and ecological functions. Natural Areas also may provide a scenic, aesthetic appearance and provide passive recreational uses and educational opportunities.  

Would define Nature Preserve as parks or open spaces that are managed or maintained to retain their natural condition and prevent habitat degradation.
Prohibits
  • New athletic facilities
  • Commercial logging
  • New public streets and roads
  • New telecommunication facilities
  • Athletic facilities
  • Telecommunications facilities
  • Parking lots
  • Roads or trails for motorized vehicles
  • Commercial logging
  • Hard surface trails
  • Additional emergency response routes to fight wildfires
Allows
  • Maintenance and education projects that promote ecological restoration and enhancement, eliminate invasive species, restore native and drought resistant species, and mitigate fire hazards.
  • Thinning and removal of hazard trees and removal of non-native nuisance and invasive plants.
  • Construction, maintenance, and renovation of trails for walking, hiking, wheelchairs and mobility devices, horseback riding, and non-motorized bicycle travel to the Natural Areas
  • Construction of picnic, sanitary facilities, boardwalks, benches and interpretive displays
  • Maintenance, renovation, or replacement any existing facility or structure
  • Implementation of a park master plan for a Natural Area that was adopted before January 1, 2022
  • Maintenance for the purpose of ecological restoration, safe public access, healthy habitat, eliminates invasive species, restores native species, and mitigates fire hazards
  • Soft-surface trails for hiking, jogging, horseback and bicycle riding
  • Benches and interpretive displays
  • Picnic and sanitary facilities
  • Boardwalks
  • Maintenance of any existing facility, structure, parking lot, road, or trail
  • Implementation of any parks master plan adopted before this charter amendment is ratified
Special Allowance May allow other development such as lighting or parking lots after the City adopts a property-specific master plan.  Property-specific master plans would require public involvement, should the proposed measure pass. Any property-specific changes in the future would require voter approval, should the proposed measure pass.
Americans with Disabilities Act States that if this provision is in conflict with the ADA, the City should follow the ADA Silent on ADA
Max Height in Residential areas Keeps existing limits Keeps existing limits

 

How will it work to have two competing proposed measures on the ballot?

 With both the City’s referred proposed measure 3-575 and the citizen proposed initiative 3-568 on the ballot, there will be two options for Lake Oswego voters. Whichever proposed measure receives the most "yes" votes will be adopted into law.

Contact Information

Madison Thesing
Assistant to the City Manager
mthesing@lakeoswego.city

Related Links Attachments