The City of Tigard recently purchased the first of two community parks planned in the River Terrace area.

The property is located on the west side of Roy Rogers Road where it intersects with Beef Bend Road, and is directly north of the Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge.  It is 28.4 acres of fairly flat, open land, with access to the Tualatin River, making it an exceptional piece of land for a future community park that will include public access for canoes and kayaks. Before this purchase, Cook Park was the only other property in the city with public access to the Tualatin River.

“Think Cook Park – west,” said Community Development Director Kenny Asher. “Not yet, and maybe not for many years, but the land now belongs to the people of Tigard and ownership is usually the hardest part of large park development.”

The property is currently zoned for “exclusive farm use” and lies outside the city limits and the urban growth boundary (UGB).  The city has every reason to expect that it will be brought into the UGB in the future.  Until that happens, though, the city cannot build or provide any park amenities at this location but may allow residents to use it for passive recreation purposes.

The reason for purchasing land outside the UGB is simple. If we don’t buy land now, we may not have the opportunity to buy land later. It is challenging to find land that meets the city’s community park criteria for size, location, access, buildability, and cost. As land is purchased by developers for housing in this area, the city’s ability to purchase land for a large park becomes less possible. This is why property acquisition, not park development, was identified as a priority in the city’s adopted plans.

The purchase and sale agreement allows the city time to make payments in escrow toward the purchase price of $1.4 million over the course of three years.  The seller will lease the property back from the city over this three year period and remove the existing greenhouses during that time.

Additional neighborhood amenities

River Terrace will eventually have neighborhood parks, trails and open space as well. To date, four neighborhood parks have been approved in concept and are in the process of being designed by developers. In addition to the one regional trail along River Terrace Boulevard, local neighborhood trails to and through the many parks and stormwater facilities will be built as part of each subdivision. Development will also restore many of the area’s existing stream corridors and preserve existing tree groves for the benefit of downstream neighbors and new residents.

For more information about parks planning in River Terrace, please view the River Terrace Park System Master Plan Addendum. To see where new neighborhood parks will be located, check out the approved concept plans for each subdivision on the Land Use Applications webpage.