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Planning Department Programs

Considerable attention is paid to retaining aspects that contribute to the quality of life in Lake Oswego. Programs such as Natural Resources, Historic Preservation, Tree Protection, Signs, Infill Development and others help ensure community values.

Annexation
Annexation is the means by which property owners in unincorporated areas can join the City of Lake Oswego, receive city services and vote in city elections.  Usually, access to one or more major urban services is the reason residents and property owners outside the city consider annexation.  These services include sanitary and storm sewers, city water, improved road maintenance, and greater police protection.

The City Council of the City of Lake Oswego has adopted Resolution 04-38, a natural resources policy, discouraging the destruction of natural resources in unincorporated areas before applying for annexation to the the City.

Capital Improvement Plan

The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) forecasts the City's capital needs over a five-year period based on various City-adopted long-range plans, goals and policies.

Citizen Involvement
Learn about different ways to get involved in planning your community.  Options include volunteering for committees, participating in workshops, and testifying on applications before the Development Review Commission or Planning Commission.

Citizen Involvement Guidelines (pdf below)

Program guidelines for citizen involvement have existed in Lake Oswego since 1975. Our intent is to have a better informed citizenry, and to provide a framework for government and citizen interaction. We want our local government to work well, and we strongly believe planning and decision making is a responsibility of all residents.

City Learning Series

These classes are aimed at informing you about the planning process in our community. Getting involved with issues and decisions at the local level can affect significant change, and you may find it is more simple than you thought it would be.

Code Enforcement
The Code Enforcement Specialist enforces the Community Development, Sign and Tree Codes.  Enforcement activities include signs in the right-of-way, open space violations, illegal tree cutting activities and issuance of citations.

Historic Preservation
Lake Oswego prides itself in its historical heritage reaching back hundreds of years. The historic resources, which exist in the city today, reflect chapters in the community’s history.

Natural Resources
The city is blessed with an abundance of natural features from habitat rich stream corridors to the towering Douglas-firs that cover hillsides. The city has tracked and inventoried these natural resources over the past three decades.  The city has taken a very proactive stance towards the protection of these natural resources.

Neighborhood Planning

The City works with Lake Oswego's recognized neighborhood associations to help them articulate a long-term vision and plan for the neighborhood's future. Neighborhood goals, policies and action steps are adopted into the City's Comprehensive Plan to provide policy guidance specific to Lake Oswego's individual neighborhoods.

Pre-Application Training

The City invites residents to attend pre-application conferences for projects occurring in their neighborhood. Attendees are limited to two people per meeting and are required to attend a City training on pre-application conferences. Only representatives who attend the training will be notified of upcoming conferences.

Signs
The purpose of the Sign Code is to ensure that signs are constructed, erected, and maintained in a safe manner that does not create visual distraction for motorists. It also helps our community maintain a neat, clean, orderly, and attractive appearance.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a matter of meeting the vital human needs of the present without compromising our ability to meet future needs. This involves the economy, nature, and society. Sustainability requires consideration of both long-term and short-term effects. Operating sustainability means that we are leaving a legacy for the community of Lake Oswego and the planet.

Trees (pdf below)
One of the benefits of living in Lake Oswego is the abundance of trees in the city.  Lake Oswego leads other communities in its overall protection of trees.   The city has regulated tree removal and mandated tree protection by local law for approximately 30 years.  Anyone proposing to remove a tree over five inches in diameter is required to go through a permit process and justify the tree removal.  The city regularly requires the planting of replacement (or mitigation) trees when other trees have been permitted to be removed.

Urban and Community Forestry

The aesthetic value of Lake Oswego's urban forest is matched, if not surpassed, by the environmental benefits to the community. Trees provide tremendous functional benefits to urban areas--shade, habitat, storm water management, improved air quality.  They also create beauty, signal the seasons, and contribute to a sense of place. Find out more about the urban forestry plan and and other community forestry projects.