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2015 City Council Goals and Policies

On Saturday, January 10, 2015, the City Council met to set goals and policies for the new year.  For the second straight year, the Council held a community open house prior to its goal setting to hear the public’s thoughts on what the city should focus on in 2015.

2015 City Council Goals

In recognition of the fact that many secondary goals are being pursued and that there are many ongoing plans of the City Council, the five primary 2015 City Council goals are:

  1. Adopt changes to the development code by June 2015 to implement the reform of regulations on “sensitive lands.”
  2. Convene a community dialog on the tree code to identify better ways to meet the intent of the code while responding to residents’ desire for less stringent regulation; review the tree code overall.
  3. Infrastructure –
    1. To the extent finances are available, invest in a street maintenance program that will, over four years, result in attaining and maintaining a Pavement Condition Index of 70.
    2. Develop a financially feasible plan for a community facility (library services, meeting rooms, police presence) in Lake Grove in conjunction with the Boones Ferry project.
    3. Build funds through a set-aside in the operating budget to complete major repairs to the exterior walls and windows of City Hall.
    4. Identify strategies for making it safer and easier to walk and bicycle in neighborhoods. When planning for major road resurfacing projects, include cost estimates for associated paths and/or sidewalks.
    5. Long-term: Complete new or expanded Police/LOCOM facilities, upgrade the Operations Center, and complete Boones Ferry improvements.
    6. Consider the feasibility and options for a bike/pedestrian trail on or near the Willamette Shoreline Trolley right‐of‐way
  4. Streamline the development code to make it more business-friendly and resident-friendly, while still maintaining community standards.
  5. Build the tax base in the General Fund by supporting business investment in Lake Oswego. Also, complete property acquisition and actively market the North Anchor properties in a manner consistent with the East End Redevelopment Plan.


City Council Policies (updated on April 7, 2015)

Neighborhood Livability

It is the policy of the Lake Oswego City Council to preserve the character of existing established residential neighborhoods. How this will be done will be decided by the City Council in consultation with residents of the neighborhood and neighborhood association representatives, while keeping in mind the property rights of owners or buyers who are interested in improving their property.

Preservation of Assets

The City Council places a priority on maintenance and upgrade of existing facilities and capital assets. A strategy for funding operation and maintenance will be identified before new facilities are acquired or constructed. Reasonable long term replacement and major repair costs should be set aside in the operating budget.


The City Council supports the policy of “friendly annexation” of residential areas. Annexation will be with the consent of the owners of affected residential properties, even if this results in the short term in irregular boundaries or islands of unincorporated areas. The City may, however, take an active role in the annexation of developed commercial and industrial property within Lake Oswego’s urban service area.

Economic Development

A thriving business community builds the city’s property tax base, provides jobs for Lake Oswego residents, and provides goods and services for residents. The City of Lake Oswego will actively encourage business investment and expansion by:

  • Reducing regulatory barriers (complexity, time and cost in processing applications, amount and scope of regulations) wherever possible, without sacrificing community aesthetics and livability.
  • Responding quickly to business expansion and relocation inquiries.
  • Providing information, in partnership with other economic development organizations, that assists in business location decisions.
  • Financial or land use incentives when warranted by the benefits to the city provided by the new or growing business, as decided on a case-by-case basis by the City Council.

New Fees and Taxes

Any new fee or tax, or an expansion of scope of an existing fee, will be considered only if the fee or tax will be dedicated to a specific purpose. The City Council will monitor the use of the fee or tax to ensure that the benefits outweigh the cost. Total outstanding indebtedness, excluding voter-approved general obligation bonds, will not exceed $250 million.

Property Rights

The City Council affirms its responsibility to protect the rights of property owners and be responsible stewards of our natural environment.  State and regional land use and environmental standards will be applied locally in a fair and equitable manner that respect citizens' use and enjoyment of their property, retain property values and promote healthy ecosystems.

Objective Development Standards and Community Involvement

When standards for development of property are clear and objective, property owners who abide by these standards should be issued a permit expeditiously in accordance with approved, measurable timetables. We seek extensive community involvement in 1) development of the standards; 2) fine-tuning the standards as circumstances warrant*; and 3) reviewing and deciding on requests from property owners for variances from the standards.

(*Consistent with the legal requirement to process applications based on the code as it exists at the time of a development application)


The City Council supports the continued provision of quality services to Lake Oswego citizens in a fiscally prudent, socially responsible, and environmentally sound way, ensuring that current needs are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.