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Cedar Mill News
Volume 5, Issue 6


June 2007

The Powers That Be
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District

By Virginia Bruce

This article starts a new series for The Cedar Mill News that we are calling “The Powers That Be.” We will be interviewing agencies, corporations and governments that wield power over our future. We’ll be asking them about their plans for our area, special issues or problems that come up in our area, and opportunities for public involvement in their organizations. If you’d like to be part of the panel that comes up with questions each month, contact me . (You must have email!)

We sent a list of questions, gathered from interested residents, and then interviewed General Manager Doug Menke, Assistant General Manager Keith Hobson, and newly-appointed Director of Communications & Development Bob Wayt.

What are the district’s current priorities for the northeast quadrant (Cedar Mill, Bethany)? What came out of the Master Planning effort relative to our area?

To move forward with the design development, planning, and construction of Phase I at Jordan-Husen Park (Metro Bond Measure/Local Share Funding). In the Fall we hope to start designing Phase II of the Bluffs Park. We have started working on the design development plans for the John Quincy Adams Young House. We are working with two large developments in the area, Teufel and Peterkort on developer/SDC* projects. ? (System Development Charges [SDCs] are fees that developers pay per-unit-developed to help offset the cost of providing services to the new residences.)

Polygon will make improvements to Cedar Mill Falls and Creek adjacent to their Timberland housing development and will then turn it over to the District in exchange for SDC credits. We also anticipate that the Peterkort-owned section of Johnson Creek, north of Barnes Road, will become THPRD property once development in that area has been completed. A trail through some of that property has already been completed.

Is there money available for acquiring more land in this area for new parks? If so, are there any target areas or parcels under consideration?

There is funding available to purchase land throughout the Park District. It is not specifically set aside per quadrant or particular area. It is to be used District-wide. Staff has been looking at potential acquisitions in the Cedar Mill area (e.g. McDaniel Parcel/Beaverton School District property) and others.

If you live within the THPRD “Ultimate Service Boundary” but are not in the district, you will receive a letter in July allowing you to request annexation of your property. Through the Voluntary Annexation Plan there is no direct cost to annex, the district will pay all fees. Once a household becomes “in-District” they will be required to pay property taxes to the Park District.

We have significant pockets of non-district land in this quadrant. In your planning process for parks and trails (master planning, acquisition, construction) do you assume that this area will remain outside the district, or do you assume it will come in at some point? If the latter, what is the plan to make this happen?

We wish to provide adequate levels of service to all the residents within the Park District and the Ultimate Service Boundary, however we cannot assume that these residences will come In District in significant quantities at any time in the immediate future.

We have been running a Voluntary Annexation Program every year since 2005 to allow residents who wish to annex into the Park District the chance to do so. Each residence in the Cedar Mill area that is not already In-District would need to submit an application during the Voluntary Annexation Program which will begin on July 15. (see sidebar)

The Park District is not looking to forcibly annex residents. The only way that the current patchwork situation would change in a major way would be with new legislative tools that might come out of Salem.

Are all developing parcels of land within the THPRD Ultimate Service Boundary required to annex to THPRD as a condition of approval from the county?

Yes, per Washington County Community Development Code (Section 501-8.3 B.1-3, Ordinance 624).When someone applies to develop within our Ultimate Service Boundary, THPRD is on the Service Provider list and we do get letters for each development, which we fill out and return to the applicant. The three options are:

Adequate: Subject Property is Served by the District and is within 1/2 mile of ______ (park, facility, natural area).

Inadequate: Subject Property is served by the District but is not within 1/2 mile of any park or facility.

Subject Property is not served by the District (appropriate for Tigard & Hillsboro developments)

Subject property is not currently served by the Park District. Annexation may be required pursuant to Washington County Community Development Code Section 501-8.3 B. (for all developments currently out of district but within the Ultimate Service Boundary, including those in Cedar Mill)

*What’s the progress on increasing System Development Charges? (THPRD SDCs are low compared to other service providers and other communities.)

Staff is currently working with our SDC consultant to review and update the Park District’s SDC Methodology. The update and recommendations will go to the Board of Directors in early Fall for potential approval.

Has there been any progress on acquiring right-of-way (ROW) for trails in our area? When someone submits a development application, and the land is near other trails or in some general area where trails would be desirable, does the district find out and ask to have trail land conditioned into the development? Is the county (or Beaverton) usually willing to do so? Do they let you know, or do they already know where trails are needed?

A lot of progress has been made on acquiring trails in the area. The Teufel and Peterkort projects are great examples of how the Park District acquires the property and gets trails built through the SDC/developer program.

Washington County (and the City of Beaverton) has copies of the Park District’s Comprehensive and Trails Master Plan and they reference it when reviewing development applications and condition the use (tell developers they must set aside land for trails) when appropriate. Both agencies do a very good job of looking out for the Park District and requiring developers to work with us.

Have you been working on getting a trail ROW between Cedar Mill Park & Jordan Park?

Staff has not worked on the Trail Right-of-Way between Cedar Mill Park and Jordan-Husen Park.

Do we have any hope of ever getting a community center in the area? What would have to happen to make that possible?

The recently approved Comprehensive Plan 2006 specifically states that Multi-Generational facilities with a variety of uses and functions should be the future goal of the Park District. Single-use facilities are expensive to operate and maintain independently, not to mention what the cost is to construct. The likelihood is very low that the Cedar Mill area would get a brand new single-use Community Center because these facilities are incompatible with what the approved Comprehensive Plan recommends. However, the Comprehensive Plan 2006 does recognize the potential for shared uses of schools or other community facilities including replacement of existing facilities which may function as a "community center" to help fill gaps in facilities where needed.

In 2005, THPRD agreed to operate the Cedar Mill Farmers’ Market. How is that working out?

We are very comfortable with our operation of the Market. Dina Gross is doing a great job of managing it, and income and expenses for the Market equal out.

Are there any plans to put a neighborhood park in the Cedar Mill Town Center area? Perhaps something that could be used as a permanent home for the Farmers’ Market?

The standard for neighborhood parks is to have a 1/2 mile service radius. If a residence is within this radius, it is considered to be adequately served with park and recreation services. The new service level determined by the Park District's Comprehensive Plan 2006 update sets a Level of Service at .9 acres of park land per 1,000 people.

Due to repeated requests from various Advisory Committee Members, staff is continuing to do preliminary research on potentially locating a neighborhood park in the area. In 2004, staff did look at two parcels for acquisition for a neighborhood park and both failed to materialize.

As far as we know, the current location of the Market is not a problem. If this changes in the future, we will work with her to find a new location.

What’s the schedule for Husen/Jordan park improvements (see April ’07 CM News)?

Hopefully by this Fall or early-Winter staff will be moving forward on design development plans for Jordan-Husen Park. Construction of Phase I would follow Summer 2008 (tentative construction schedule).

Is THPRD interested in acquiring the Beaverton Sschool District land north of the planned new school on NW McDaniel, adjacent to the Bluffs Park? Are negotiations taking place between the Districts?

There is interest by the Park District in acquiring the 2-acre parcel. Park District management has and still is having discussions with the Beaverton School District concerning the property.

Is there a plan to expand The Bluffs Park to provide non-automotive connectivity between Ironwood, Bonny Slope, and the Bluffs, as was strongly urged by the 2000 Cedar Mill Parks Ad Hoc Committee report? Incidentally, given the imminent, adjacent new school, the need for this connectivity is even greater now, since it is not safe for children to walk on NW McDaniel. Connections through the Bluffs Park are the only possible way children to the north could walk or bike to their nearby, neighborhood school.

Staff plans to move forward with the design for Phase II of the Bluffs to connect Phase I to South Drive. Staff is aware of the connectivity issues in the Cedar Mill area and is mindful to try and make connections whenever possible. Unfortunately the area is built out and the lack of land use planning and sidewalks has hampered the opportunities to make those connections. There is only so much the Park District can do to help alleviate the problems that are already inherent.

Whatever happened with the Merritt Orchard Park situation? (encroachments, ROW, trail location etc)

The encroachments at Merritt Orchard Park have been dealt with. Staff continues to work with some of the residents regarding the trail location and additional items. The trail is currently scheduled to be completed sometime this fall.

How can people get involved in planning for park facilities?

The district has several permanent public involvement committees, including the Trails Advisory Committee and the Nature Park Advisory Committee. In addition, ad hoc (short-term) committees are formed to study and advise the Board on various projects, such as the JQA Young House. If you're interested in participating on one of these committees, call THPRD's administration office at 503/645-6433.   Be specific about your area of interest to ensure your call is routed quickly to the appropriate department.

Anything else you’d like us to know about THPRD’s northeast quadrant?

The Park District is working on numerous parks, trail and special projects in the NE quadrant, much more so than any other quadrant in the entire Park District.


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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229