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OPINION: Housing solutions start with community engagement

As a longtime Lake Oswego resident and a real estate developer, I share Mayor Buck and Councilor Mboup’s goal of creating the right conditions to facilitate realistic housing possibilities. Over the years, I have learned from the school of hard knocks — what succeeds and what fails.

Now that my children are young adults and have families of their own, I see the challenges they face in becoming homeowners, especially in Lake Oswego. Metro’s Urban Growth Boundary, interest rates and rising construction costs all impact affordable housing options.

I recently acquired the rights to the old church and the Bethlehem Christian Preschool property located at 17979 SW Stafford Road in Lake Oswego. These 6 acres are adjacent to Rassehk Park, Luscher Farms and the new recreation and aquatics center adjacent to Lakeridge High School.

To date, we have held four public/community meetings where we engaged with neighbors and concerned citizens. We discussed sustainable goals, concerns, issues and opportunities associated with redeveloping this property. Each meeting is built on the previous conversations. As a result, at our last meeting on Dec. 7 we presented a series of four options that addressed citizens’ concerns and issues, while helping to meet the city’s need for middle housing that would not impact existing natural areas and farmland.

The options discussed included a mix of townhouses, cottage clusters and affordable housing, as well as retaining the preschool. Each of the options utilizes Oregon HB 2001 that passed in 2019 and provided more housing choices, especially affordable options, by allowing certain traditional housing types like duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters and townhomes in residential zones. Our options also meet the city’s housing goals — entry level housing with a smaller footprint and on land that is already in the developed portfolio.

Our next neighborhood/community meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 15, from 6-8 p.m, at 17979 SW Stafford Road in Lake Oswego. The objective is to gather additional input on the housing project before formally submitting the project to the city of Lake Oswego. Once the application is submitted, there will be a formal public hearing as required by the city’s land use planning process. For more information on the project and the upcoming meeting, visit

Original article here.