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Cedar Mill News

Volume 1, Issue 11


December 2003

Teufel development – a village within Cedar Mill?

Washington County Land Use Districts
Click here to download the complete map (653 KB PDF file)

By Virginia Bruce, editor

Just over a week ago, Polygon Northwest, Inc. of Vancouver, Washington, announced that they have signed a purchase option with the Teufel family to acquire the approximately 90-acre parcel of land on Barnes Road where the Teufel Nursery and Garden Store is located. The development will include mixed-use residential and commercial, consistent with Washington County’s long-range plans (see sidebar). The development may include as many as 1,946 housing units when it is completed, and will have 22 acres of retail commercial property.

A north-south “minor arterial” street is planned from Cornell at 119th to Barnes at the south end of the property. Washington County Senior Planner Paul Schaefer, says “The intersection with Barnes will be determined by the County’s Barnes Road project. The intersection with Cornell is somewhat limited due to the falls and the grade of the site. This will be addressed during the application and development process.” The county’s proposed realignment of Cornell Road at 119th will also probably be accomplished concurrently with the development.

Early last spring, the Beaverton School District succeeded in condemning 18 acres in the center of the Teufel property for a middle school. Assistant superintendent Bob Fischer says, “It would be ideal if we can build the school in conjunction with the development.” The school district will probably site the new middle school adjacent to the new arterial, since the neighborhood to the east has expressed a strong objection to connection into the eventual Teufel development.

The Teufel Garden Store

Once the school district succeeded in its condemnation process, the Teufel family felt that continued operation on the property would be hampered, and began negotiations with potential developers. However Larry Teufel, speaking to The Oregonian in an article published on November 29, said their nursery operation isn’t likely to move away soon. “We’re looking for a lease-back provision for us to stay there for a while.” He added that they were seeking a similar agreement from the school district. The Teufels intend to continue operating their business in the area even after they have vacated the property. “We hope to be around at least another 113 years,” says Teufel.

The Teufel property is part of the greater Cedar Mill Town Center Plan (see inset, below) which includes major improvements in Cornell and Barnes roads and new commercial zoning and building standards for the area. The commercial component of the development will be sited along Barnes Road according to the county’s map. It will very likely include buildings with housing above commercial. Some area residents would like to see a higher-end mix of shopping than is currently available in this part of the valley.

The JQA Young House on Cornell (see last month’s Cedar Mill News) is adjacent to Cedar Mill Falls and Cedar Mill Creek, which are designated as wildlife habitat and are part of the Teufel property. The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District has expressed an interest in developing a trail and parks in the area, one of which might include the house, the falls and part of the creek.

The Teufel property looking north from Barnes Road
Fred Gast, Vice President of Polygon Northwest, (polygonhomes.com) will be overseeing the project. He is eager to meet with residents as soon as possible because, he says, “Some of the most valuable ideas come from this part of the process, hearing what the neighborhood wants.” He views the Teufel development as “an opportunity to creatively construct something a little different.” The first meeting may take place as early as January and will be announced on the home page of cedarmill.org as soon as a date and place are set. The Cedar Mill News will send an email to interested residents who are signed up to receive the paper online (cedarmill.org/news/signup).

Asked about a possible timeline for the development, he says, “We’re at a ‘feasibility study’ stage right now. We'll have a series of neighborhood meetings, and we’ll present site plans to the county planning department. The property will be developed in stages... some residential development will probably come before the commercial area is developed. We could be breaking gound as early as this summer.”

Gast acknowledges that annexation by the City of Beaverton is “one of the options on the table.” Beaverton’s Senior Planner, Hal Bergsma, could not comment on the potential annexation because, “the City has a policy that before an employee can respond to any inquiries from the press, we have to receive authorization from the Mayor’s Office.” Authorization wasn’t obtained by press time and Bergsma directed us to talk to Gast. Beaverton has already annexed the portion of Barnes Road that runs past the Teufel property.

Polygon has selected MGH Associates as their engineering partner (mghassociates.com). MGH has designed several local projects that appear to have similar concerns – neighborhood groups with issues, steep grades and wetlands, and the need to achieve high density while preserving a village-like feel.

The county anticipates a lengthy review process due to the numerous concerns addressed in the ordinance and the complex nature of the development. Polygon will exercise its option-to-buy once necessary land-use approvals are secured, so it’s unclear exactly how soon anything will begin to happen “on the ground.”

There will undoubtedly be some in the community who are dismayed at the prospect of such extensive development in our midst. But development of our area is inevitable, given Metro and the County’s goals of growth by density, a location close to downtown, proximity to transit, among other factors. It can and should be an opportunity for us to exercise our right to have meaningful and constructive input in the process and the outcome. Come to the neighborhood meetings and voice your concerns and we’ll end up with an enhanced Cedar Mill.

The Cedar Hills/Cedar Mill Community Plan

In August 2000 Washington County Ordinance 536, originally adopted in 1999, was amended to update this document which charts the future development of our area. Ordinance 536b (the current version) is available on the county website as a PDF file, at www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/lut/planning/ord2000/ord536b.pdf. We encourage anyone interested in the details of the county’s plan for our community to download and read the document. Most of it is in plain English and not that difficult to follow!

In the plan, the Teufel property is designated as “Area of Special Concern No. 4” and is said to have “a tremendous opportunity to be developed as a vibrant mixed-use pedestrian-friendly development. The property provides a rare and unique circumstance to create a distinct and special place in the Cedar Mill community.” Because of its unique nature, the ordinance calls for much more comprehensive and detailed planning oversight than is usually required in most development projects. Among other requirements, the developer is directed to address these issues:

  • Developing a plan that will produce a high degree of urbanism on the property.
  • Focusing the development around an identifiably public place such as a park, square or plaza.
  • Examining the off-street pathway and trail system relating to the neighborhoods surrounding the property.
  • As appropriate, incorporating Cedar Mill Creek and Johnson Creek into the development of the property.
  • Addressing screening and buffering issues relative to the 114th neighborhood.



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The Cedar Mill News
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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
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