Mitigation - to lessen in force or intensity, to moderate, to make less severe,

to make milder or more gentle, to mollify, to appease.

Amelioration – to make better, to elevate, to make a negative into a positive

Sunday, December 16, 2012

RNA ends GNC mission - Resolutions 12/11/12

Resolutions  of the Robinwood Neighborhood Association  December 11, 2012  

1. The Robinwood Neighborhood Association resolves that the proposed Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership transmission pipeline through Robinwood is a transportation project, and therefore, the public right-of-way along the entire length of any transmission pipeline project must be upgraded to the current standard as outlined in the Transportation System Plan and the Hwy 43 Conceptual Design Plan.  

We find this to be in accordance with the deliberations of Planning Commissioner Bob Martin and as agreed to by acting City Attorney by Pam Beery at the November 1st, 2012 Planning Commission hearing.  

Any Planning approvals must be contingent upon this condition.

2.  The Robinwood Neighborhood Association formed the Great Neighbor Committee to work with Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership in a rational and respectful manner to negotiate a package of mitigations and community benefits that might be acceptable to the community.

We thank the West Linn City Council for the financial support for the consultant who helped the committee and Robinwood Neighborhood Association draft and approve a comprehensive mitigation plan that reflected the values of the community.

We  regret that the West Linn Planning staff did not utilize the Robinwood Neighborhood Association Mitigation plan as a framework for negotiating a mutually acceptable solution.

The Robinwood Neighborhood Association therefore resolves that the temporary Great Neighbor Committee has completed the mission plan, that we disband the temporary Great Neighbor Committee and that any unfinished  and future matters may be handled by the standing Robinwood Neighborhood Association Planning Committee.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Planning Commission results

On Thursday, November 1st, the West Linn Planning Commission denied the LOT applications for  CDC 12-02 (Water Treatment Plant) and CDC 12-04 (Transmission Pipeline) in unanimous 7-0 votes.

Here is the video for the 10/18 hearing:

Here is the video for the 10/25 hearing:

Here is the video for the 11/01 hearing:

The really interesting part is last x of the 11/1 meeting, when the Planning Commission deliberates and lays out the reasons for rejecting the applications.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


West Linn is being Conditionally Used because we are cheap and easy.
You can thank West Linn’s lax, antiquated, contradictory, developer friendly codes.  You can thank the big Welcome mat that West Linn city hall puts out for regional initiatives that hurt our own citizens.  But you can’t fault the rich kids in Lake O for trying to take advantage. 
Many question why the new Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership (LOTWP) treatment plant and pipelines, proposed in Robinwood, can’t actually be built in LO or Tigard.  The reality is, we are being used because we are the cheapest alternative and it’s easier to build in West Linn than to impose on their own citizens.  Saves 10 acres of their industrial land and pays no taxes to West Linn.
A double benefit for them.
LOTWP reps like to say that all roads, as in pipelines, lead to this site, but the all new 48” pipelines could be built to any site.  The current LO water treatment plant was built under county jurisdiction in the unincorporated Robinwood neighborhood in 1968 and has undergone 2 upgrades, most recently in 1996. 
LOTWP expects West Linn to roll over and grant a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to completely rebuild a new water plant to double the capacity and another CUP to double the diameter of their water transmission lines through MS Young Park, under our homes and narrow streets and through our business district on Hwy 43.  To sell water to Tigard, a completely new use.

According to the definition in our West Linn Comprehensive Plan, a Conditonal Use requires a Community Benefit.  Where is the benefit to West Linn?  Where is the benefit to the Robinwood community, that will bear the entire burden in West Linn?  2 to 3 years of heavy industrial construction, with thousands of truck trips of spoils, fill, concrete, pipe and steel and treatment equipment.  Thousands of trips of construction workers, contractors and inspectors on our crumbling, narrow residential streets.

Lately the LOTWP publicity team, at public meetings in West Linn, is selling the concept that their industrial water treatment plant in our neighborhood is a benefit for all of West Linn.
Their story is: At peak summer usage, when LO residents are watering lawns and washing cars, LO doesn’t have any extra water to share with West Linn through our 2-way inter-tie, even in a real emergency.
Despite our mutually beneficial inter-tie and IGA (Inter-governmental Agreement) to share water in time of need, their threat is that the current IGA does not require LO to invoke temporary rationing (the technical term is ‘curtailment’), to provide water to West Linn.  Our taps and toilets run dry because LO won’t ask their citizens to cut back a bit on watering and washing.
LOTWP can only justify drawing 32 MGD (million gallons per day) from the Clackamas, out of LO’s permitted 38 MGD maximum.  
The LOTWP is angling  to jump to the head of the line, using West Linn as a place-holder, a shill, to vest their water permits now, ahead of all potential future Clackamas watershed users, like Boring, Clackamas, Damascus, Estacada and Happy Valley.
West Linn would get very temporary (10-13 years) emergency only access to up to 6 MGD of ‘excess’ LOTWP water, until LOT growth gobbles it all up.
It is apparent in the public meeting records, that if West Linn won’t buy into their scheme, they will look for another partner to tie up that 6 MGD.
If West Linn needs more water storage, we should build it in West Linn, now, while bond and construction costs are historically low.  If LOTWP paid toward an upgrade to Bolton reservoir, that would be a real benefit to West Linn, and by LOTWP’s own inter-tie logic, it would also benefit them.
If we suffer a major regional disaster preventing South Fork water from crossing the 205 bridge to our Bolton reservoir, will a new LOTWP plant have the power and people to purify and pump 6 million gallons per day to West Linn, after serving LOT needs?
Given their recent threat to not help us under the current IGA, why would we trust them?

Letter to LOTWP Oversight Committee 2/11/12

February 11, 2012
Members of the LOTWP Oversight Committee 
In selecting the Robinwood Neighborhood in West Linn as the least cost alternative for your water infrastructure projects, any dilemma relating to mitigation is a self inflicted hardship.
This Oversight Committee is too steeped in local politics to be credible, protesting that our efforts to protect the quiet enjoyment of our neighborhood and our property prerogatives are outside the norm or extreme or over-reaching. 
The unique extra-territoriality of you endeavor creates a special set of circumstances that is yet to be adequately and earnestly addressed by your public relations efforts.
The community benefit defined in the West Linn Comprehensive Plan is not limited by nexus or proportionality, but is a discretionary process, affected by the exigency of elective governance.
Mitigations included in the application are current practices that serve only to ameliorate a fraction of the onerous impacts of construction and are not community benefits.  Community concerns about safety, construction controls, emergency and hazard planning and property values await your considerate reply.
The total of all the projects on our mitigation list are scant compared to overall costs and are especially reasonable when compared to the costs for accommodations being proposed within Lake Oswego.
Limiting community benefits proffered to Robinwood and West Linn to parity with those existing, sought or proposed in your own communities is specious.  We are not the direct beneficiaries of the project.
The Robinwood Neighborhood Association Great Neighbor Committee proposes a joint meeting with voting members of the LOTWP Oversight Committee and City of West Linn representatives for an honest consideration of our mitigation proposals, so that we may agree upon a Great Neighbor product.
Robinwood Neighborhood Association Great Neighbor Committee

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Letter to the Oregonian about LO Water Rights and Community Benefit

To draw from our commonly held waters of the State of Oregon, whether ground water from a well or riparian water from a river or stream, an entity requires a Water Permit from the Oregon Water Resources Department, allowing that entity to divert and use water.  
Per Oregon Water Resources Department policy, after only 4 hours of use, in compliance with the terms of the water permit, the user may apply for a Certificate thereby obtaining a Vested Right to the water resource.
The City of Lake Oswego currently has a certificate for, or a vested right to, 25 cfs (cubic feet per second) of Clackamas River water, based upon their current usage. The City of Lake Oswego has an additional 34 cfs permitted, for a total of 59 cfs.  
LOTWP (Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership) is currently attempting to vest the entire additional 34 cfs, but can only justify an additional 25 cfs, based upon current water usage by Lake Oswego and Tigard.
Therefore, they are shopping for an additional 9 cfs of usage, so that they can certificate, or vest, their entire permitted 59 cfs.
The Water Resources Department grants permits measured in cubic feet per second, but water utilities measure water treatment capacity and delivery in million gallons per day(mgd).
To convert cfs (or ft3/s) to million gallons per day (mgd or Mgal/d), multiply by .646272
25 cfs x .646272 = 16.15 mgd or what Lake Oswego currently treats at peak usage
50 cfs = 32.31 mgd or what Lake Oswego and Tigard actually need at current peak usage
59 cfs = 38.13 mgd or the total of LO’s vested rights and permits and the design capacity of the proposed LOTWP plant, in the Robinwood Neighborhood of West Linn.
That 9 cfs or 6 mgd difference is what LOTWP is offering to make available to West Linn, at a wholesale water rate, for emergency use only.  This offer is temporary, for up to 13 years, until growth in LO and Tigard consumes the 6 mgd. 
If LOTWP can pump water at a 6 mgd rate, through the intertie and into the West Linn system, for only 4 hours during their COBU (Claim of Beneficial Use) certificate test, then they can obtain vested rights to it.  That’s why LOTWP wants West Linn to install a third pump at the intertie, for the firm capacity to force a million gallons into our system in 4 hours.
LOTWP is proffering this temporary use as a benefit, in return for West Linn granting their Conditional Use Permits (CUP) for the expansion of their plant and construction of a new 48" pipeline through the Robinwood Neighborhood.
Two questions raised by this tactic:
LO has already proffered this same intertie as a community benefit at two previous Conditional Use Permit hearings, for expansions to their current plant.  
How many times can the same existing intertie and the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) be recycled as the supposed benefit for a new CUP?
The existing intertie and IGA, to provide emergency water, is a two way street.  West Linn has historically provided our South Fork water to LO.
How can a mutually beneficial agreement and facility be deemed as a one way ‘benefit’ granted from only one party to the other?

Community Benefit -Where is that from?

Right here on page four of West Linn Comprehensive Plan, under the Glossary:

Conditional Use. A proposed use of land which may be allowed after the City Planning Commission has determined that the proposed use is appropriate for the site, compatible with surrounding uses, is supported by City public facilities, and is of overall benefit to the community and meets all other relevant criteria.

The community benefit of our Parks, Schools, Fire Stations and the new Police Station, all built under Conditional Use Permits, are obvious.

The GNC has been unable to find another example of an public infrastructure project like the LO Water Plant, that is located outside the jurisdiction that it serves.

Where is the community benefit for Robinwood and West Linn?