LO Update: Land Use Process Change

The following information is intended to bring you up-to-date on the efforts that the city of Lake Oswego has made toward more citizen input in its decisions and how the Westridge Board members have been involved.  The current city manager, Scott Lazenby, has stated that the three minute time for citizen input at city council meetings is not enough time for the people of Lake Oswego to have their say.  The City has begun to have open-forum meetings in order to give citizens a better chance to play a greater part in the decisions that the city makes.  Another area where citizens have an opportunity to be heard is at a meeting called “a pre-application conference.”

A land use/development application is required from anyone who wants to build or remodel structures, build a large development, or apply for a variance on zoning to accommodate development.  A pre-application conference is called for in some situations.

Land use decisions are classified in three areas:

Ministerial development (no discretion – planning department makes decision), e.g., such as building permits, lot line adjustments, etc.

Minor development (limited discretion), e.g., lot partitions, variances, planned development

Major development (major discretion), e.g., conditional use permits, proposed zone changes

A pre-application conference is required for all minor and major developments.   The applicant is also required to hold neighborhood meetings.

As WNA board members, Dave Sengenberger and Ruth Bregar recently attended a training session in order to be qualified to sit in on a pre-application conference.   The training gave an understanding of the steps of the application process and requirements for completing an application.  It is important for a representative from Westridge to be informed about any development that would have an impact on the neighborhood, and bring that information back to the residents of Westridge.  The neighborhood can make requests for changes in the application to the Planning Department, Planning Commission and/or the Development Review Commission.  The neighborhood also has the option of asking that the application be denied.  Additionally, the pre-application conference is a chance for the Westridge representative to inform the applicant of requirements of building within the neighborhood. When appropriate, WNA meetings can be held to discuss the issues.

At this point in time, there are no applicants for development for any type of building permit in the Westridge.  Should there be an application for development in Westridge that requires a pre-application conference, the WNA board chairman will be informed and he/she and one other board will be invited to attend the conference.  We suggest that you go to our web site www.wnalo.org to keep apprised of any developments.

Dave Sengenberger, Chair WNA