AN 18-0020: Southwood Park Area (Voter Annexation)


September, 18, 2019

Southwood Park Votes Remain Unincorporated

On September 17, residents of the Southwood Park neighborhood voted to remain in unincorporated Clackamas County rather than annex to Lake Oswego. The election was held in response to a request from the Southwood Park Water District and area residents.

Mayor Kent Studebaker wished the residents luck and had this to say, “Nothing changes for the city or the neighborhood. We respect their decision and wish them success in continuing to operate and maintain their own water system. We will continue our policy of friendly annexation.”

Under an existing agreement between the city of Lake Oswego and Southwood Park Water District, annexation is a prerequisite to the city providing water service to the neighborhood.

According to Fire Chief, Don Johnson, residents will continue to see Lake Oswego Fire Department personnel when there is a call for assistance, as Lake Grove Fire District #57, whose territory includes Southwood Park, contracts with Lake Oswego.



August 20, 2019

The Frequently Asked Questions Handout has been udpated and can be accessed in the "Public Record" file, click here.

To learn more about the election on Measure 3-550 Southwood Park Neighborhood Annexation, click here.

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June 18, 2019

On June 18, 2019 (following the public hearing held on June 4), the Lake Oswego City Council, pursuant to ORS 222.120(4), adopted Ordinance 2805, declaring that the area known as Southwood Park neighborhood is annexed to the city upon the condition that the majority of the votes cast in the area are in favor of the annexation. Southwood Park residents will have an opportunity to vote on the annexation this September.

If annexed to Lake Oswego, Southwood Park residents would be able to vote in city elections, and be eligible for all city services, including parks and recreation, library, streets, traffic management, code enforcement (e.g., noise, abandoned vehicles, etc.) and all aspects of police service, including patrol, traffic enforcement, crime prevention, adult resource officer, and investigations.

The Lake Oswego City Council has directed that the difference in property tax rates (estimated at approximately 10%) be phased in over five years. Upon annexation, the City’s Public Works Department would be responsible for maintaining and operating Southwood Park’s water system. The Council has further directed that the current Southwood Park water rates be maintained for a period of five years, with only inflation adjustments, and with normal city residential water rates phased in from years six through ten. The Southwood Park system would be connected to the City water system within a period of five years.

To access the "Public Record" file, click here.

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June 5, 2019

On June 4, 2019, the Lake Oswego City Council conducted a public hearing and tentatively approved Ordinance 2805, an Ordinance of the Lake Oswego City Council authorizing annexation of the Southwood Park Neighborhood, provided that a majority of the voters cast in the neighborhood are in favor of the annexation. The Council is scheduled to enact Ordinance 2805 on June 18, 2019. This will provide an opportunity for registered voters in the Southwood Park Neighborhood to vote on the question of annexation in a special election conducted by Clackamas County on September 17, 2019.

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On June 4, 2019, the Lake Oswego City Council will hold a public hearing to consider authorizing a special election for the annexation of the Southwood Park area.  This will provide an opportunity for residents in the Southwood Park neighborhood to appear and submit testimony regarding the future annexation.  At this hearing, the City Council will consider adoption of the proposed ballot title for the special election that would be held on September 17, 2019.


The City initiated an annexation study with Portland State University Center for Public Service in 2017 and results were presented to the City Council on November 21, 2017. Additional meetings discussing future annexation policy and service delivery to unincorporated areas were held on March 22, 2018 and July 17, 2018.  Board members of the Southwood Park Water District (SPWD) had approached the city with issues related to running the SPWD.  On September 18, the City Council directed staff to work with the SPWD Board and the neighborhood on the potential annexation of 75.2 acres that makeup the Southwood Park area.   On December 18, 2018, the City Council provided the following policy direction to staff:

  1. Maintain the current (lower) water rates for a period of five years, with only inflation adjustments, and then phase in the city water rates in years six through ten.
  2. Southwood Park be connected to the City water system within a period of five years.
  3. Phase in the increase in the property taxes for Southwood Park property owners over a period of five years.

On January 23, 2019, during a regularly scheduled monthly meeting, the Southwood Park Water District Board voted unamiously to recommend annexation to the City of Lake Oswego.  On February 11, 2019, the Southwood Park Community Planning Organization (CPO) voted 84 to 45 in favor of holding an election for annexation of the Southwood Park area.  The outreach that was conducted by the CPO to provide information and notify Southwood residents of meetings related to a possible annexation, can be found by going to the "CPO Public Outreach" folder. The "CPO Summary of Communication with Neighbors" describes all the activities that occurred from October 2018 to February 2019.  All documents referenced in the CPO Summary can be found in the CPO Public Outreach folder.

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Project Details
AN 18-0020
Project Contact: 

Paul Espe, Associate Planner, (503) 697-6577 or email.

Reviewing Body: 
Hearing Date: 
Tuesday, June 4, 2019