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Lake Road NDA meeting minutes for Oct. 8, 2008
Location: Rowe Middle School
Meeting brought to order by chair Debby Patten at 6:33 p.m.
Secretary Phil Favorite read the minutes from the September, 2008 LRNDA meeting. The minutes were slightly modified for clarification. The modified minutes were approved.
Treasurer Kathy Buss gave a treasury report. She said the group has a grand total of $6,208.32 in its account, with $13,000-plus to write grants on. She also said grants for the Last Saturday Old Time Square Dance, approved in September, were being written.
Mike Connors of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine and Eduard Khemchan of the Immovable Foundation Church spoke to the group about amendments proposed to the plan approved in 2006 by the Milwaukie Planning Commission allowing the Church to take ownership at 4012 S.E. Lake Road, the site formerly owned by the Clackamas Education Service District. Mr. Connors said the proposed modifications are in regard mostly to public use of the site’s two-acre park. He said the chains and “no trespassing” signs that greeted public visitors to the site in recent months were erroneously put in place and that representatives from the Church had removed them.
Mr. Connors said the modifications would involve three major areas. 1. Modifying the current property easement to tailor it to the specific park area. 2. Limiting pedestrian access to the site from the Southeast 37th Avenue entrance because the easement is too large. 3. Prohibiting dogs from the entire 10-acre property.
With regard to limiting the access point, Mr. Connors said the Church would not discourage neighbors accessing the site from Lake Road or using the property as a cut-through to Southeast 37th Avenue. With regard to the dogs, Mr. Connors said the church had three major concerns. 1. A maintenance issue, specifically, who would clean up after the pets. 2. The presence of dogs conflicts with the religious beliefs of Church members. And 3. A safety issue . . . Unleashed dogs present a safety problem for Church-goers.
Susan Shanks and Ryan Marquardt from the City Planning Department attended the meeting specifically to answer questions about the Church’s proposal and encourage neighbors to put their comments in writing and submit them ahead of the Planning Commission hearing on the Church modifications.
Neighbors expressed concern about the proposed modifications, specifically about the limiting of access to the property, and a lack of parking for visitors to the park. Neighbor Jim Young said he was “sad and disappointed” with the Church and asked, “What’s to prevent them from changing their minds” with regard to other agreements they made with the neighbors to smooth their path through planning in 2006.
Mr. Khemchan, son of the church pastor, offered his phone number (503-998-4444) as a number to call for neighbors experiencing problems with or at the site. He said he can be reached at the number “24/7.”
Mark Pinder, the new principal at Milwaukie High School, attended the meeting to introduce himself and let the group know what’s going on at the school this year. He said access rules for school property remain the same . . . no bikes, no dogs. He spoke of the track and field/football stadium upgrades, saying the new field surface will allow for year-round use of the field. He said the biggest project currently underway is the renovation of the performing arts center.
Mr. Pinder said the school has started a freshman success academy where new students are paired with an adult mentor and learn about how grades and credits are awarded and what’s needed to complete their studies in four years.
Mr. Pinder spoke of several upcoming events, including the Nov. 3 Living History Day when 50 former students will be honored as “living heroes,” recognizing them for their service in the military. He also spoke of the school’s canned food drive, saying some of the current students will be among the recipients of the food.
Mr. Pinder said his goal is to graduate students who are college ready, be able to work and solve problems in teams and also be ready to continue to learn going forward. He said attendance remains a big issue and said parents can check attendance in real time on a computer. He said he is recommending the creation of a Dean of Students who will help guide individual learning and how it applies to real life.
Neighbor Cami Waner expressed disappointment about the prohibition of dogs from the site and recommended the school not spray chemicals on its grass fields.
Neighbor Beth Wasko asked Mr. Pinder to let the group know what we can do to support students who need help.
Grady Wheeler from the City of Milwaukie announced details of an upcoming meeting regarding improvements to Lake Road.
Some of the group agreed to stay late to decide an appropriate response for LRNDA to the proposed Church modifications.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:32.

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