Following a Community Open House on January 8 to gather input and soliciting citizen comments via Open City Hall, The City Council met on Saturday, January 11 to discuss policies and set their goals for the City in 2014. On February 4, the City Council refined and adopted their goals and policies for 2014.
2014 City Council Goals
Balance community expectations for city services, infrastructure maintenance and facilities within existing resources, adjusting taxes and fees, when necessary, with fiscal prudence and restraint
- Review master fees and charges, and establish cost recovery policies of various classes of fees.
- Update the Council’s policy on debt; approve a revised investment policy.
- Complete the 2013 Action Plan goal to sell the West End Building.
Balance the goals of community aesthetics and environmental quality with the preservation of property rights and individual freedom
- Complete the 2013 Action Plan goals for updating the comprehensive plan.
- Adopt changes to the development code to implement the reform of regulations on “sensitive lands.”
- Amend the tree code to more appropriately address large land parcels, both private and public, for forest management.
- Convene a community dialog on the tree code to see if there is a better way to meet the intent of the code while responding to residents’ desire for less stringent regulation.
Improve the city's infrastructure to meet current standards and provide for managed future growth
- To the extent finances are available, invest in a street maintenance program that will, over five years, result in attaining and maintaining a Pavement Condition Index of 70.
- Adopt a design and funding strategy for upgrading the Operations Center.
- 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.
- Complete new or expanded Police/LOCOM facilities (by 2016). Upgrade the Operations Center (by 2017). Complete Boones Ferry Improvements (by 2019).
- Build funds through a set-aside in the operating budget to complete major repairs to the exterior walls and windows of City Hall.
- Identify strategies for making it safer and easier to walk in neighborhoods.
Build the tax base by supporting business investment in Lake Oswego
- Complete property acquisition and actively market the North Anchor properties. Plans for development should involve nearby residents and other community members, as well as those with expertise in the market for commercial real estate.
- With the involvement of property owners and surrounding residents, develop a plan for the southwest industrial area.
- Streamline the development code to make it more business-friendly, while still maintaining community standards.
Improve the effectiveness of Lake Oswego’s city government
- Review and change as necessary the role and scope of city advisory boards.
- Inventory the availability of community meeting spaces in Lake Oswego.
- Inventory available recreation facilities and activities (public and private) available to residents.
- Adopt a procedure for filling council vacancies.
- Propose to the voters a charter amendment that would modify or remove the provision for street widening elections.
- Consider the provision of volunteer coordination services, particularly for projects in natural areas.
City Council Policies
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.
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.
The City Council affirms its responsibility to protect the rights of property owners while recognizing the need to comply with State and regional land use and environmental standards. These standards will be applied locally in a fair and equitable manner that respects citizens' use and enjoyment of their property while meeting the intent of State and regional standards and goals.