Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

SK Northwest persists, appeal hearing tomorrow

Posted by on June 5th, 2007 at 10:11 am

SK Northwest — one of Oregon’s largest dealers of personal watercraft and ATV’s — refuses to give up on their plans to develop property on the Willamette (without granting riverfront trail access) just south of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

Proposed development area.
Click to enlarge graphic

The company has already faced a string of denials from the City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services. The denials (one against the initial proposal and two against appeals to that decision) stem from land-use issues and the developer’s unwillingness to incorporate access for a Greenway Trail easement that exists on city planning maps.

The appeal was filed by land owner Wayne Kingsley (he also owns the Portland Spirit cruise ships) and SK Northwest owner Shawn Karambelas. They go before a Land Use Hearings Officer tomorrow morning.

From the appeal document on file with BDS, SK Northwest’s lawyers claim that,

“the decision’s application of the Greenway Trail designation and the Greenway Design Guidelines imposes an unconstitutional exaction.”

Another sticking point for SK Northwest is that they feel even if they granted riverfront trail access, the connection between the Eastbank Esplanade (to the north) and the Springwater Corridor (to the south) would still not be possible (due to other properties on either side, see map above).

In their statement, they maintain that “The Greenway Trail requirement…lacks a nexus to the proposed development,” and that the City’s, “analysis of impacts and trip generation is erroneous.”

BDS is still seeking comments on this proposal. To comment, you may write or testify at the hearing. The case number is LU 06-171821 GW.

For more information about this hearing, view the official hearing announcement (PDF).

I have covered this story extensively since the saga began over one year ago. To learn more, visit my SK Northwest story archives page.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Logan 5 June 5, 2007 at 11:47 am

    This is getting old. How many appeals can one process have.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR June 5, 2007 at 11:58 am

    And yet I\’ve seen a clearly marked SK Northwest pickup truck unloading Segways for training rides for customers. Where? At the Portland Opera Building on SE Caruthers next to Mr. Kingsley\’s Portland Spirit dock, where they procede to use the Esplanade behind OMSI for their little Segway lesson.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Resident June 5, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Maybe the city should just go buy the land if they want access that bad. I\’m a land owner and an avid cyclist, and both groups get screwed regularly, deal with it. I also work for a company that moved from portland to the burbs (i\’m sure you all know the story) due to aggressive policies. Decentralization helps nothing! It increases commute lengths therefore driving more people into cars, lengthening their commute, frustration and leads to potential road rage and more biker deaths. Let SK be, join me in riding your bike around their lot, small sacrifice, cant we all just get along!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Disco D June 5, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    BURR: I mentioned that back in another of the posts about their appeal. I was thinking they would welcome the trail in front of their store for segway test rides or whatever…funny they are using that path as a test site but they don\’t want it for their store. NIMBY I guess.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • SKiDmark June 5, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    This may have been covered before but why isn\’t the Springwater corridor an easement?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • RyNO June 5, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    To all the earth-friendly people who dislike those gas-powered, super-annoying, and polluting vehicles (\”personal watercraft\”), you owe lunch to Jonathon.
    Otherwise those horrible machines would be everywhere on the Willamette by now. The path and the SK business are incompatible,
    bikes would block access. That is why SK don\’t want it. Thank god for existing city planning maps.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Matt Picio June 5, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    \”Let SK be, …small sacrifice, cant we all just get along!\”

    Um…. tell that to the rowers who will have to put up with all the jetski testing, et. al.

    SK Northwest actually affects river groups much worse than cyclists. I\’m opposed to their application on that basis alone – the path and its benefits to cyclists, joggers and walkers is icing on that cake.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • gabriel amadeus June 6, 2007 at 7:51 am

    As a soon-to-be Willamette hobiecat pirate, I will personally take it upon myself to harpoon every one of those motor mosquitoes I see, as well as pillage and burn these stubborn scourges off the angelic shores of our fair Willamette!

    That is, if diplomatic routes don\’t go as they should…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John June 6, 2007 at 7:58 am

    SK NW should perhaps try to sell some bicycles along with floating noise makers since they\’re on the path.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • ME June 6, 2007 at 8:51 am

    SK wouldn\’t care about the property if the city didn\’t put the path there. They should go to Lake Oswego or Oregon city where they would be welcomed.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Logan 5 June 6, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    I attended this hearing today and to answer my own question, it appears that this is the last appeal at this level. The next one would have to go to some state organization (I got lost in acronyms today).

    Mr. Kingsley was visibly laughing at some of the testimony, he just doesn\’t seem like a very nice person to me. From his attitude, I\’m pretty sure that he intends to take this as high up as possible. Especially as his lawyers keep citing that Tigard case that made it to the Supreme Court.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • sh June 6, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Did he laugh scornfully in that \”muha-ha-ha\” kinda way, as he twirled his black, waxed mustache? I have this visual in my head….

    Was there mention of when the ruling would be?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Logan 5 June 7, 2007 at 9:17 am

    The record is open for 7 more days for submission of written evidence. After that, I don\’t know for sure.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Scott Mizée June 8, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Did he laugh scornfully in that \”muha-ha-ha\” kinda way, as he twirled his black, waxed mustache? questioned sh.

    I love your visual… I\’m kinda curious if my visual of him meets reality as well.

    Logan 5, Thanks for reporting on this for us. I wonder what the best way for us to find out about this is after the 7 day comment period? They oughta have RSS feeds for public court decisions such as these!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Scott Mizée July 2, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    SK Northwest? What happened? Its been a month and I haven\’t heard the results. Does anyone know?

    Recommended Thumb up 0