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Springwater development may nix trail improvement

Posted by on April 12th, 2006 at 8:38 am

[Click to enlarge]

SK Northwest, a seller of boats and personal watercraft currently located on NE Sandy Blvd, has filed an application to construct a new building on the Willamette just south of OMSI between SE Caruthers and SE 4th Ave. (see map). In their application to the Bureau of Development Services the company has requested an exemption from an existing greenway trail easement that runs across the property on the riverfront.

According to a representative from Portland Parks and Recreation, SK Northwest has “several concerns with the trail and trail users.” These concerns likely stem from the fact that they want to build a new dock to store their boats and they don’t want to deal with trail users coming onto their property.

Currently, this section of the Eastbank Esplanade trail (SE Caruthers to SE 4th Ave), as it transitions into the Springwater Corridor Trail, forces bicycles and pedestrians onto poorly maintained surface streets and into dangerous interactions with industrial businesses (including Ross Island Concrete).

Because of this substandard route, trail advocates have been negotiating with the City of Portland and Portland Parks and Recreation to build a new trail on the existing easement that would stay along the waterfront and go from SE Caruthers to SE Woodward (labeled “recreational trail” on the map), making a seamless connection from the Steel Bridge south onto the Springwater Corridor.

But if SK Northwest gets their way, this trail will never be built.

It’s no surprise that their application has already drawn fire from bicycle advocates and the Hosford Abernathy Neighborhood Assocation. Here’s the opinion of one concerned trail user and neighborhood resident:

“In my opinion, the current trail detour (Caruthers / SE Fourth) is not an acceptable long-term solution. The current path detour is frequently blocked by delivery trucks and other vehicles…and these roads have not been maintained by either the city or the local businesses, especially the segment on SE 4th. I don’t think the City should issue the greenway variance as requested, but rather, should require the greenway trail to be constructed on the lot as planned. I’m pretty sure the HAND neighborhood association will submit comments on the plan, opposing the greenway variance.”

Because this is such an important section of trail that could be lost forever, I strongly urge you to call, write a letter, fax, or email Kate Green at the Bureau of Development Services. Please indicate case number LU 05-178171 GW in all correspondence. Comments must be received by 5:00PM on April 27th. Her contact information is below:

Kate Green
kgreen@ci.portland.or.us
ph. (503) 823-5868
fax (503) 823-5630
Bureau of Development Services
1900 SW Fourth Ave., Suite 5000
Portland, OR 97201

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Comments
  • Scott Mizée April 12, 2006 at 8:55 am

    npGREENWAY (http://www.npgreenway.org) is working on issues such as this for the north reach of the Willamette. It is vital that the users of trails like this make their voices known. There is a common misconception among property owners that a nearby trail improvement will hurt their residence or business. In my experience, that has not been the case. I’d like to hear from a representative of SK Northwest so we know directly from them what their concerns are. We can all work together on these issues so ALL of our residents and visitors have better access to the Willamette River.

    Can someone solicite SK Northwest for a cirect comment on this story?

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  • Ethan April 12, 2006 at 9:17 am

    Call me crazy, but I have always felt that there was a kindred spirit between the land-based walkers and cyclists and their similarly low-impact waterborne counterparts (rowers, canoeists, kayakers, sailors). I am amazed that a company planning to pursue this business in this town and in this market would not be more attuned to the similarities and WANT the continual interface of the two groups. Given this location (an automobile backwater), foot and bicycle traffic is going to be a HUGE part of their public exposure . . . And this is how they reward that?

    Case in point, I just got a call from a friend on Sunday who was looking to take a beginning kayak lesson . . . And I sent her right to Alder Creek’s Willamette location, having seen it so many times from the Esplanade . .. while on my bike.

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  • Lenny Anderson April 12, 2006 at 9:25 am

    I believe SK Northwest is more focused on jet skis and other hydro-carbon powered toys…they will probably want a big parking lot too for customers. The City must hold firm to the Greenway here, but the danger is that selling boats is “river related” and hence SK may be able to avoid the trail requirement.

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  • Chris April 12, 2006 at 9:59 am

    Lenny is correct, SK Northwest is geared toward power toys. You can find their web site if you google them. Power toys are not my thing, but Ethan does make a good point about business exposure. SK Northwest should see this as an opportunity. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if SK wants to install some sort of dock (they sell floating dock systems). A new business in this location has the possibility of ruining this stretch of trail/riverfront (big parking lot for big trucks hauling gas powered toys) or creating a synergistic recreation site mixing trail, rental docks, and pedestrian accessable showroom. I hope SK Northwest works WITH the community if they proceed with their plans to move to this site!

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  • Garlynn April 12, 2006 at 10:17 am

    There is absolutely no reason why a seller of personal watercraft and boats would not benefit from having pedestrians and bicyclists walk by their facility and view the quality of their products. They should be encouraged to embrace this trail facility; furthermore, they should be required to construct it through their property as a condition of the approval of their application, just as a developer is required to construct sidewalks in front of new homes.

    Their employees and customers will thank them in the future, when they are able to ride their bicycles right up to the dock at their facility.

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  • Matt Picio April 12, 2006 at 10:18 am

    Sent to Ms. Green via US Post Office:

    April 12, 2006

    Kate Green
    Bureau of Development Services
    1900 SW Fourth Ave., Suite 5000
    Portland, OR 97201

    Dear Ms Green:

    This letter is in reference to case number LU 05-178171 GW. It has come to my attention that SK Northwest has filed an application for construction that requests an exemption from a trail easement intended to link the Eastbank Esplanade to the Springwater Corridor Trail. I am opposed to the city granting SK Northwest this exemption.

    I am a former Portland resident living in unincorporated Clackamas County (Oak Grove). I work in downtown Portland, and commute to work most days via bicycle. As such, I am a regular user of the Springwater Corridor Trail. The gap in trail coverage between the end of the Springwater Trail near SE Fourth and Ivon and the start of the Esplanade at the west end of SE Caruthers is the most problematic portion of my commute. SE Fourth is poorly maintained, with gravel along the roadway, and is frequently blocked in part by large trucks during the morning commuting hours. Northbound cyclists are encouraged by the bike lane markings to ride the wrong way on SE Fourth, and if they choose the safer option of riding on the correct edge of the street, they must contend with gravel, broken glass, and a “bike-eating” pothole at the road edge when SE Fourth crosses SE Division Place. On Caruthers, eastbound cyclists frequently contend with delivery trucks blocking the bike lane in the afternoon hours, and a sharp right turn around the curb onto SE Fourth. Cars on these streets frequently pass close-by and frequently at speeds exceeding the legal limit.

    Various trail advocates have been negotiating with the City of Portland to remedy these problems by building a new trail connecting the Esplanade and the Springwater Trail along the existing easement that runs parallel to the Willamette River from the West end of SE Caruthers to SE Woodward. If the city grants SK Northwest their exemption, this would effectively kill that project and force trail users to continue using the current, unsatisfactory arrangement. I encourage you and your department to deny SK Northwest’s application on this basis.

    I have sent this letter to you with the understanding that you are the relevant contact person regarding this case at the Bureau of Development Services. If I am in error in this regard, I would ask you please forward it to the responsible individual. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Matthew P. Picio

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  • Randy April 12, 2006 at 11:18 am

    Check the applicant’s info on the City’s web site:

    http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=112810

    There is an additional site map at the bottom of the proposal which Jonathan didn’t post that shows the building footprint and dock facilities SK is proposing to construct.

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  • Michelle Dennis April 12, 2006 at 11:48 am

    I do understand that there are two sides to this story, and that each is very valid. As a user of this path, I certainly don’t want to hinder anybody’s business operations. I DO want to see the Esplanade trail to continue safely to the Springwater Corridor, for the thousands of path users’ commute routes, fitness, mental wellbeing, families to safely use.

    I am a 12-year veteran bicycle commuter, an 8-year inline skater, and a frequenter of the roads and trails all over this city. Bicycling & skating are my livelihood. Like me, thousands of people all over this city, and visitors from beyond the borders, use the bicycle trail system for work commute, fitness, social, exploring, non-motorized vehicle errands, training, and other life-enhancing activities.

    Support these activities. It is a social responsibility.

    Michelle Dennis
    Portland

    PS, I am forwarding this article to the entire Portland skate community.

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  • Jonathan Maus April 12, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    Just FYI, I got a call from Kate Green at Bureau of Development Services. She wants me to pass on that if you want to be on their contact list for developments on this issue, you’ll need to leave a mailing address with your emails.

    Unfortunatetly the City is still in a paper only environment for much of their communications…

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  • Frank Dufay April 12, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    >>

    My name is Frank Dufay and I’m the Land Use & Transportation Chair for the Hosford-Abernethy NA (HAND). A representative from SK Northwest will be at our NA meeting on 4/18, 7:00, St Philip Neri Church, SE Division and 17th.

    I am very concerned about this proposal. SK Northwest has hired heavy-hitters Ball Janik, and while they acknowledge the code requires a trail upon development, they are arguing against its constitutionality.

    Only HAND Board members can vote at our meeting to weigh in on this proposal, but all are welcome to hear what SK Northwest has to say. I do promise to report back here. While in our neighborhood, this threat to connectivity of the trail effects everyone.

    Thanks Jonathan for posting this, and thanks Randy, a member of our board, for pointing out this post.

    Frank Dufay

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  • Garlynn April 12, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    Um… according to their webpage, they also sell Segways.

    Either they’ll complete numbskulls… or they will recognize that Segway users will want to test-ride the things along the Willamette Pedestrian/Bike path!!

    Obviously, this corporation is out of touch. I hope they are re-educated at the community meeting, and manage to see the error of their ways.

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  • Burt Sumner April 12, 2006 at 6:03 pm

    I talked with the owner. He said the City doesn’t own an easement across the land so it’s private property and there is no way the city could build the trail on its own without buying one, which it has not tried to do. According to him, SK is exempt because this is a river dependent development which allows it access to river without a trail going through. This particularly true because SK isn’t asking the City for any thing special so the city would have trouble “exacting” (getting for free) a trail.

    Then he mentioned some U.S. Supreme Court cases which “protect” private property from the City just going in a taking it.

    What a crock! Hey, this is Oregon and that stuff doesn’t work here. We need that trail. Those greedy property owners shouldn’t be able to keep the trail off their land if we need it for a safe bike trail. We should not allow them to hide behind some out dated notion of “property rights”.

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  • Ethan April 12, 2006 at 9:07 pm

    They certainly are going to need a permit to put a large dock complex into the river channel, which if i am not mistaken is NOT their property. The city can also ban Segways from the trail system, making test-drives rather brief indeed.

    Oh my God! I just looked up their website. These guys sell “personal watercraft” very different from Kayaks and Canoes. They sell WaveRunners, SeeDoos and the like. The upshot of this will be that the quiet channels and coves of Ross Island (and all of our waterfront trails) could become subject to the whine of small jetcraft. THAT should be a much bigger concern than an inconvenient detour.

    Their own drawings show 36 spaces for the little noisemakers on the docks they plan to build. Hopefully this is also on the radar of the paddle and sail-related businesses in Portland. Have dragon boats ever been armed historically?

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  • Paul Steckler April 13, 2006 at 6:46 am

    Speaking of that area, what’s with all the feral cats?

    Someone leaves out bowls of food on the side of the trail just up from the trailhead, so there are about 10 feral cats who hang out there.

    This is not a good idea. Anyone know who to contact about this problem?

    – Paul

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  • Frank Dufay April 13, 2006 at 9:26 am

    According to him, SK is exempt because this is a river dependent development which allows it access to river without a trail going through. This particularly true because SK isn’t asking the City for any thing special so the city would have trouble “exacting” (getting for free) a trail.

    City Code 33.272.020 requires: All applicants for…building permits on lands designated with a recreational trail symbol on the zoning map ARE REQUIRED TO GRANT AN EASEMENT for the recreational trail.” (emphasis mine)

    Ball Janik –SK Northwest’s law firm– recognizes this law, but is arguing this an an “extraction” out of “proportionality” as in Dolan v City of Tigard, which Tigard LOST at the Supreme Court.

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  • Russell April 13, 2006 at 9:41 am

    If you mean take the cats away to be destroyed: the humane society does that. The feral cat coalition of Oregon has a spay/neuter program however if you are just concerned about breeding. There are upwards of 70 million feral cats on the country, so getting rid of ten isn’t going to change much. It’s more a people problem than a cat problem.

    If you can find out who is feeding the cats, you can tell them about the Feral Cats of Oregon if they haven’t gotten the cats fixed already.

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  • Garlynn April 13, 2006 at 9:42 am

    Doesn’t Ball Janik also represent the City of Portland, at least for lobbying purposes in Washington, D.C.? Doesn’t this represent a conflict of interest on their part?

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  • elljay April 13, 2006 at 10:23 am

    There’s also been a dream in the human-powered watersports community to make Holgate Slough (the east side of Ross Island), and ultimately the Ross Island Lagoon, a motor-free, or at least wake-free zone. Wow!

    I’ll pass this on to folks in the rowing and kayaking world.

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  • jeanne April 13, 2006 at 11:00 am

    I have sent this on to both the Portland Boathouse Board and my own club, Portland Women’s Rowing. The addition of jetskis and other motorized “personal” watercraft to this part of the river is a horrific idea. Many rowers also use the bike path (cross-training, you know) ;), and are supportive of a contiguous bike path as well.

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  • Matt Picio April 13, 2006 at 11:04 am

    Paul – there are at least 5 feral cats in that stretch, and the other day I saw a cyclist filling the bowls. (I bike commute every day on the trail) I don’t know if multiple people fill the bowls, but they seem to be filled at least every couple of days.

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  • Matt Picio April 13, 2006 at 11:12 am

    BTW, detail on the lot in question can be found at Portlandmaps.com

    http://www.portlandmaps.com/detail.cfm?action=Assessor&propertyid=R197236

    Unfortunately I was unable to determine whether the property had been purchased after the Willamette Greenway plan was released. If it was, one could argue that they knew about this in advance – the Greeway Trail has been in the planning stages for at least a decade.

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  • Evan Manvel April 13, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Those of you concerned might also touch base with Commissioner Leonard’s office, who oversees BDS. I called them this morning, and the BDS staff person hadn’t heard about this yet, and wanted a summary of the situation and our concerns.

    Here’s the quick e-mail I dropped him (Aaron Johnson), referencing this discussion:

    Commissioner Leonard, Mr. Johnson, and Ms. Green:

    The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is an Oregon nonprofit that works to create healthy communities by making biking safe, easy, and convenient. We have over 4,000 members, about 70% of whom are your constituents.

    I’m writing to share our concerns with a proposal that’s come up at BDS (LU 05-178171 GW).

    SK Northwest, a seller of boats and personal watercraft, has filed an application to construct a new building just south of OMSI between SE Caruthers and SE 4th Ave. In that application, they are requesting an exemption from an existing greenway trail easement that runs across the property. (More details, and map, at: http://tinyurl.com/eddb9)

    We are strongly urging that this exemption be denied.

    Because those few properties currently lack that trail, trail users are diverted into an area that is currently a industrial truck-laden zone, dangerous for all users (cyclist Mark Jenkins was almost killed last year by a turning truck). Long-term plans to connect the Springwater Corridor trail along the river, instead of by running it through the industrial area, should be upheld.

    The Eastbank Esplanade and Springwater Corridor Trail are jewels of the region. Once completed along the river, the trail will continue to grow in popularity for bicyclists, walkers, and skaters, and provide a healthy place to both commute and recreate. A single development should not be allowed interrupt those long-term plans and get an exemption.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Warm regards,

    Evan Manvel

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  • Evan Manvel April 13, 2006 at 11:24 am

    Oh, and as a side note, Dolan v. Tigard referenced above set up a bar for cities that cities can overcome — I think the City of Portland could make a credible argument that the new development would create transportation impacts, and that providing transportation facilities such as this trail is roughly proportional. It’s up for the courts to decide, of course.

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  • Sara April 13, 2006 at 11:44 am

    Sorry for being off topic, but is there a forum/website for the Portland human-powered water sports community? I kayak and want to get in touch with other kayakers. I definitely want to help make the Holgate Slough wake/motor free.

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  • jeanne April 13, 2006 at 11:54 am

    re: the cats – I think the issue is more one of risking hitting them when you are riding. Might be best NOT to encourage them to frequent the bike path. I think that was the intent of that posting…

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  • Jeremy Shattuck April 13, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Having a personal watercraft rental company headquartered near the slough WILL lead to more negative interactions between motorized and non motorized watercraft. I can personally attest to weekly incidents (during the summer) where a jet ski or ski boat comes dangerously close to hitting or swamping either a dragonboat or outrigger canoe. Most of these incidents are treated by the power boater as some sort of amusement. And yes, there have been reports to the authorities. With the PDC’s investment in human powered watercraft downtown this would be a colossal step backwards. The club I belong to has nearly 200 members that on a daily basis utilize the Holgate Slough as a semi safe haven from power boats. There has to be a place in the city center that remains safe for people who chose not moterized means for recreation and excercise. Maybe the land based users of current trail and the water based users of the Holgate slough should band together to preserve this very important resource.

    Jeremy
    Wasabi Paddling Club

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  • AB April 13, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    I’m with ellJay on this one — SK represents a threat to quiet uses of the river at this point.

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  • AB April 13, 2006 at 12:55 pm

    An update and a kind of retraction of what I just submitted: SK is not planning a public or retail sort of place, but rather a private repair facility. The only people, according to the fellow at SK I spoke with, who will be riding water craft there will be technicians testing repairs. Though this mitigates impact on quiet waters, it still does not address the corridor issue.

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  • Matt Picio April 13, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    Jeremy – right on and that’s a great idea. This is somthing that impacts all human-powered transportation, land AND water.

    Jeanne, so far, the cats seem to mostly stay off the path, sitting in the middle of the Oregon Pacific railroad tracks. I rarely see them cross the trail. OTOH, placing food out is just going to attract more cats, and someone’s eventually going to hit one.

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  • Randy April 13, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    I did some more research and it turns out that creation of a continuous Willamette River Greenway is not just a City goal (Title 33 Chapter 33.440), but also a Statewide Planning Goal, Land Conservation and Development Goal 15: Willamette River Greenway, ORS 390.310 through 390.368 and OAR 660-015-0005, see links below.

    DLCD Statewide Goal 15 OAR:
    http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/docs/goals/goal15.pdf

    City Code Chapter 33.440: http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=53351

    PS – Can we please leave the cat discussion out of this? It’s an off topic distraction, at best. They seem healthy to me and don’t interfere with trail users; if you are still concerned, please discuss somewhere else. Thanks!

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  • Aaron April 13, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    Wow, what a huge number of posts. Here is a photo I took of Caruthers Street (the one dead ending at OMSI which is often blocked by delivery vehicles. Here the entire road is blocked except for the bike lane (it was entertaining to see a van try to manuever through).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/128150349/

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  • K.Askia April 13, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    You know, I have never understood why the eastbank esplanade and the springwater corridor trail are seperated by this patch of industrial mayhem. It makes absolutely no sense. It kills the ambience of my rides, it’s dangerous, the diesel smell is nausious, and the (over)abundance of loose gravel all over the streets is just terrible. Everything about it makes no sense and I’ve long wondered why there has yet to be a path linking the two trails. Now to hear SK Northwest stands in the way of linking these 2 beautiful paths together simply makes no sense.

    The real question: If this facility is merely for technicians to repair crafts and not a public retail facility, what is the problem with allowing a path???

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  • Matt Picio April 13, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    Even if SK Northwest’s exemption is denied, there are still a few obstacles. Any trail will have to dump out onto SE Ivon, unless Ross Island closes the Ready-Mix plant. There’s no safe way around that, since the plant extends to the river’s edge. So we’ll still have the danger spot of the plant entrance. What it will relieve is having to ride between the parked semi-trailers and the warehouses – which make it difficult for vehicles crossing Fourth on Ivon or Division Place to see cyclists.

    Randy – about the cats: sorry, I get distracted easily.

    K.Askia – not only the diesel, but the Ready-Mix plant puts a lot of grit and particulates in the air, and it gets aerosoled when the employees hose the equipment down. I really don’t want to think about what that’s doing to our lungs.

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  • Frank Dufay April 14, 2006 at 10:07 am

    Doesn’t Ball Janik also represent the City of Portland, at least for lobbying purposes in Washington, D.C.? Doesn’t this represent a conflict of interest on their part?

    Yes they do. Whether that could be construed as a conflict, I don’t know.

    An update and a kind of retraction of what I just submitted: SK is not planning a public or retail sort of place, but rather a private repair facility…

    The letter dated 3/24/06 from Ball Janik states: “The proposed building will also include areas for SALES and parts. The proposed building will also include areas for sales and parts. The applicant proposes to construct a dock that will be used solely for testing water craft in conjunction with service and SALES.” (emphasis mine)

    Sales, as in “want to check this out on the river?”

    At any rate, what the applicant “plans” to do with a dock on the river and what he, or the next owner, actually DO with it are two different matters altogether.

    Evan, thanks for the thoughtful letter to Commissoner Leonard. Makes me proud to have joined BTA last year :-)

    Frank Dufay

    The only people, according to the fellow at SK I spoke with, who will be riding water craft there will be technicians testing repairs. Though this mitigates impact on quiet waters, it still does not address the corridor issue.

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  • Ethan April 14, 2006 at 10:49 am

    You don’t need a dock with 30 odd slots for testing repairs. Indeed, most mechanical repairs are tested using various tanks. Their proposed dock is at first glance completely disconnected from the shops, and is probably not protected from the elements.

    So picture yourself the as the repair specialist . . . you are going to fix the pump on a Wave Runner. It’s January, it’s raining . . . where do you want to do the work and test the results?

    This looks more and more like a Trojan horse.

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  • DM April 18, 2006 at 1:15 pm

    A great trick that helps keep emails and concerns from being ignored is to carbon copy people who have authority within or over the department you are sending concerns to. I sent a message as suggested here; however, I chose to copy the Portland mayor and a city commissioner, Dan Saltzman Public Issues. Tom Potter’s city email and the emails of all the commissioners can be found here; http://www.portlandonline.com/ – just click on the picture of someone to go to their page and link to their email. Copying the BTA is also not a bad idea.

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  • Randy April 18, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    Randy Leonard is the commissioner in charge of the Bureau of Development Services, which will be making the decision on this variance.

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  • Frank Dufay April 19, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    SK Northwest’s Shawn was pleasant enough at our Neighborhood Association mtg last night, but he claimed his purchase agreement includes the provision that he NOT provide an easement and trail…not that he wants to anyway. A couple of us may be meeting with him again in the next few days to see where we’ve common interests here, if any…but, in the meantime our Board voted unanimously to support the City Code language that requires the easement and trail. I’ve also heard that the umbrella coalition of neighborhood associations –SE Uplift– ALSO voted to send a letter of support for the trail/easement.

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  • Ethan April 24, 2006 at 7:10 am

    I ran into a SK rep down at Earthday (if you can believe that) who had brought a couple of Segways for people to try out. Obviously she was not a decision-maker over there, but it was interesting to talk with her.

    She essentially repeated the SK line . . . that the facility is really intended to be a repair facility etc. However, she also was excited over the higher exposure the location afforded. So I asked her, what kind of exposure does a repair facility need? Why does a repair facility need a 30 slot dock complex? All she did was maintain that the owner is open to feedback and considering options. I bet he is.

    BTW, on a side note. I did a quick Google seach and found a number of similar businesses around the country which feature 10,000 gallon (and bigger) tanks for testing personal watercraft. Central to this girl’s argument (and SK’s) for the site is the need to have open water for testing purposes. NOT TRUE! Open water is only useful for RENTALS and SALES.

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  • Frank Dufay April 24, 2006 at 7:23 am

    Why does a repair facility need a 30 slot dock complex?

    At the HAND board meeting Shawn said his intent is to lease out many of these spaces to “yachts” –his choice of words– that can’t find a space to tie up at Riverplace.

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  • [...] Making an appearance astride Segways were our friends over at SK Northwest, the company that doesn’t want a bike trail on their property along the Springwater Corridor. Community bike advocate Ethan Jewett engaged their representative in a civil conversation, expressing his concern over their misguided intentions (more on those later). [...]

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  • Randy April 24, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    Don’t forget to send your letter to Kate Green, BDS, stating your opposition to the City approving this development without the Greenway Trail easement. Comments must be received by this Thursday, April 27.

    Reference Case File Number LU 05-178171 GW in your letter.

    Kate’s contact information is listed at the top of this page.

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  • [...] SK Northwest’s plans to develop on the Willamette River, and their opposition to an existing trail easement that would connect a popular portion of the Springwater Corridor Trail, has been met with serious concern from the community. Last week’s post has generated over 40 comments and many groups – including the HAND neighborhoord association, the BTA, and the Wasabi Paddling Club – have written letters and expressed strong opposition to their application. [...]

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  • [...] [For reference, here are the previous posts on this issue: Springwater development may nix trail improvement Springwater development update] [...]

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  • [...] Yesterday I received a phone call from Shawn Karambelas, owner of SK Northwest. This is the company currently in escrow on a lot just south of OMSI on the Willamette River, smack dab in the middle of a potential trail connection between the Eastbank Esplanade and the Springwater Corridor Trail (for background on this story see this post). [...]

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  • [...] I first posted about this nearly two months ago and have been following the story ever since. [...]

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  • [...] SK Northest, the company that wants to develop a parcel on the Willamette River and not allow public trail access through their property, has appealed the recent denial of their development permit. [...]

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  • [...] The SK Northwest case is getting messier by the week. There has just been a second appeal (links to PDF) filed against the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) decision to not allow their permit. SK Northwest is seeking to build their business on a key section of the Springwater Corridor Trail and not grant the city any trail access across the property. The new appeal has been filed by the property’s owner, Wayne Kingsley. I interviewed Kingsley back in April and it was clear at that time he had some major concerns about building a trail. [...]

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  • Michelle July 11, 2006 at 10:21 am

    I haven’t seen mention of the bike traffic problem that bothers the car-driving workers around SE Caruther and Water – in fact, one of them came into the BTA office irate the other day because when he pulls out of his driveway (at the Portland Spirit entrance) he can hardly get through the bike traffic to make a right turn.

    If the easement were fulfilled and many of bicyclists were just continuing south, he and all the other car and truck and freight drivers wouldn’t have to fight for space on the roads in that little industrial district. Wouldn’t they PREFER to have less bike traffic on Caruthers?

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  • [...] The story first appeared here three months ago and so far over 100 comments have been posted on seven different posts including interviews with both of the men who have now filed appeals to the city’s decision. [...]

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  • [...] To refresh your memory, SK Northwest is the company that is in escrow on a property just south of OMSI on the riverfront. They want to be exempt from allowing public trail access across their property. The city of Portland denied their application (in part after receiving 125 letters in opposition from the public). SK Northwest then appealed the decision. [...]

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  • [...] Yesterday was the public hearing on the SK Northwest development case. Unfortunately I wasn’t there but here’s a report from what I’ve heard and read so far. [...]

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  • [...] It’s been nearly six months since this story broke and given what I know about the current owner of this property I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this yet. I’ll try and keep you posted on any developments (no pun intended). [...]

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