LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Some neighbors in Lake Oswego are fighting development plans that would bring 16 new homes to a neighborhood.
Residents in the Lake Oswego’s Hallinan neighborhood claim the area can’t handle the new houses without improvements to the infrastructure, including wider roads and access.
“They’re built on lots that are platted lots, which aren’t really legal. They’re legal in Lake Oswego, but they’re illegal by state law since 1992,” said neighbor Liz Martin.
Those against the plans also said the city is ignoring its own zoning code. they wonder how the project is possible when the developer wants to build on 4,000 or 5,000 square foot lots on an area zoned for 7,500 square foot lots.
Legally non-conforming is what the city calls the lots in question.
According to Lake Oswego’s city council, the area is zoned for 7,500 square foot lots, which has led to some of the neighbors’ complaints when they said they heard the homes will go on lots no larger than 5,000 square feet.
“Those lots were grandfathered in, and so they were platted before our current zoning regulations,” explained City Planner Jessica Numanoglu.
According to Numanoglu, the platted, or buildable lot sizes, are different than 7,500 square foot tax lots.
“It’s the developers that come in with that knowledge and exploit it and then the city allows them to get by, in our case, calling this a ministerial decision,” said Lake Oswego resident Wendy McLennan.
Lot line adjustments and zoning codes aside, neighbors admitted they just don’t have room up here for 16 more houses.
Still, the city doesn’t see it that way.
“It isn’t a density increase because they’re all existing lots of record,” said Numanoglu.