In response to Dina Weathers’ comments on the Draft Park System Master Plan Addendum and the responses that followed, the City of Tigard shares the public’s concerns for getting the placement of the northern community park right. This will be a substantial investment for Tigard and we want to be sure that it meets the diverse needs of our citizens. The Draft Park System Master Plan Addendum anticipates the community park will accommodate play equipment, paved paths, ball fields (no lighting), restrooms and picnic facilities, parking, open space, and natural areas and trails. This will require a fairly large area with a mix of relatively flat terrain and natural amenities. It will need to be accessible to residents by safe and convenient means, including cycling and walking. All of these factors are a part of our planning work for this park as we search for the right location.

We recognize that future development in River Terrace will both impact and benefit existing neighborhoods outside the city’s boundaries simply due to adjacency. As a result, the project team is working hard to create a plan that eliminates and/or mitigates potential impacts while at the same time looking for ways that the plan can benefit the wider community. New parks in River Terrace are an obvious benefit, but require street connections between existing neighborhoods and River Terrace in order to be accessible, which is just one of the reasons why the Draft Transportation System Plan Addendum proposes several street connections between the two areas.

However, the issue of fairness in this area is a complex topic. As you know, River Terrace and the future community park are part of the City of Tigard and the areas east of River Terrace are in Washington County. Issues about lack of services in this area such as parks, trails, and street safety are legacies of past planning efforts outside the city’s control. Moreover, even without the issue of having two different jurisdictions in this area, is it fair for a new community to have to pay for the deficiencies in an existing community? If so, how much? We don’t have the answers yet, but we do expect that we’ll be discussing these types of question during the finance strategy phase of this project and hope that you’ll continue to contribute your thoughts on this subject.