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New appeal in SK Northwest case

Posted by on July 11th, 2006 at 6:17 am

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.

According to his appeal filing, Kingsley and his lawyers believe BDS’s decision violates the Oregon Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, and several legal case precedents.

Because of this new appeal the public hearing of the case has been postponed to August 16th at 1:30PM. The location for the hearing is 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Hearing Room 3000.

I’ve also heard that the BTA has engaged a lawyer to help draft their comments at the hearing.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for an article in The Oregonian by Spencer Heinz that should shed more light on this whole saga.

With both sides lawyered up I have a feeling this will be a long, drawn-out battle. Stay tuned…

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  • Jason Penney July 11, 2006 at 9:34 am

    I looked at a few of the legal references in the appeal. If they actually cite _Nollan vs CCC_, the land owners are going to be in Real Trouble.

    The US Supreme Court affirmed the state’s right to permit public access to desirable land (in that case, California beach front, in this case the _existing_ Springwater Trail easement); they just nixed how the government had connected the couple’s request to remodel their beach house with the easement for public access.

    I think that the plaintiff would do well not to mention _Nollan_ at all, or they could end up losing their appeal based on prior case law from The Top.

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  • Dave July 11, 2006 at 10:21 am

    Given some of the recent imminent domain cases, citing the fifth ammendment seems pretty dicy too. Almost like daring the city to just seize the easement outright…

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  • Jim Labbe July 11, 2006 at 1:15 pm

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the City is in the amidst of redrafting the rules relating to trails and development along the Willamette Greenway starting with the Portland Harbor. See:

    This is the process by which the critera and rules governing uses along the river- including public access and environmental protection- are established.

    Folks interested in the SK development would be wise to follow this process as well.

    To get updates on the River Plan send an email to with a request to be added to the River Plan News list.

    Jim Labbe

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  • Matt P. July 11, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    Apologies – this is a nitpick. It’s “eminant domain”, not imminent domain.

    To be honest, I’d have an easier time if the city encouraged the property owners that sit on the proposed path to pay for permanent improvements to the current “temporary” trail. These are the issues with the current temporary route:

    1) McCoy Millwork parks their trucks across the bike lane every day in the afternoon, forcing cyclists to veer into the main traffic lane to go around them. This is in violation of ORS811.555. (There is an exemption for vehicles momentarily stopped to load or unload, but I’m pretty sure “momentarily” does not mean 30-120 minutes or more)
    2) Trucks loading cement from Ross Island Sand & Gravel’s Ready-Mix Plant sometimes park in the bike lane on SE 4th while securing their loads.
    3) Traffic in and out of the Ready-Mix plant is regulated only by a small stop sign that forklifts and trucks sometimes ignore.
    4) The bike lane running down the west side of SE 4th is obviously intended by its markings and width to be bi-directional. This condition is unsafe and not acceptable.
    5) City street maintenance does not sweep the gravel on the road frequently enough to keep it from being hazardous to cyclists.

    In a previous post I identified a “bike-eating pothole” on SE 4th – this pothole has been filled in with the recent work installing railroad crossing improvements to the Oregon Pacific track that runs adjacent to the road.

    Improvements that would greatly remedy these shortcomings in the temporary route would be to stripe a bike lane on the east side of SE 4th Avenue and to install bicycle / pedestrian traffic lights at SE 4th & Caruthers and at the bottom of SE 4th where it meets the entrances to the Springwater Corridor trail and the Ross Island Ready-Mix plant. Another major improvement would be to place a right-turn lane for cars on SE Caruthers at SE Water Avenue. Currently, cars making a right turn go across the bike lane. Widening that turning area and routing the bike lane across it would place bikes on the proper side to avoid turning cars and trucks.

    Anyway, just some thoughts.

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  • Dr. Mark Ross July 11, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    How much is the property worth? Has a public enitity (or a combination of) considered buying the lot, construct the bike path through it, then reselling it? I know this is easier said than done, but it seems like an option that ought to be on the table (if it hasn’t or wasn’t already).

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  • Gregg July 11, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    It doesn’t look like there is any room to negotiate. That Wayne Kingsley person does not seem to like any idea of a trail. In an earlier post, it was mentioned that in order to buy the property, the new owner must fight against the trail. Money for power, power for money.

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  • Barry July 11, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    I checked the assessor records. Mr. Kingsley apparently purchased the property for $1.5 million in December of 1997.

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  • Dave July 12, 2006 at 9:17 am

    Nitpick back! Eminent, not eminant 🙂

    I blame the schools.

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  • Randy July 12, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Slightly off topic, but why hasn’t OMSI been required to build the segment of trail north of their main building along their parking lot and maintenance facilities, towards the Hawthorne Bridge? This segment of the trail currently consists of potholed asphalt and is not that pleasant to ride on, either.

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  • Matt P. July 12, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    Dave – correction accepted. 🙂

    Regarding Wayne Kingsley – not knowing him, I can’t speculate on his motives. That said, he owns the adjacent Portland Spirit property, and one reason for wanting the variance as a condition of sale is to protect his legal rights regarding his other existing property along that trailway.

    Randy – I don’t know if OMSI owns that parcel – it’s completely separate from the parking lot. The potholed asphalt lies on this parcel:

    Property ID: R504993. Someone would need to check the assessor records to find the owner. That section is also not a permanent trail.

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  • Randy July 12, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Interesting. I did some research of my own, and as of May 2004, the City of Portland (PDC) owned the parcel north of OMSI along the river. I got a tax lot ID of 1S1E03D-00101. This information is confirmed by the Portland Maps page posted by Matt, so I guess the City / PDC is on the hook for building that segment of the trail.

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  • etta-tron July 13, 2006 at 11:12 am

    does anyone else find it strange that the oregonian article doesn’t mention bikeportland? maybe i’m off-base in thinking it should.

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  • Matt P. July 13, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    Randy – I noticed riding by that the structures on that lot have OMSI signs in them, so I can only assume that OMSI leases the property from the city. If the city does indeed own the lot, then I think bringing the trail condition to Sam Adams’ attention may be in order. If the city really does want Platinum status, and is serious about their commitment to bikes, then plugging the trail holes on the properties that they actually own seems to be one of many good places to start.

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