City of Lake Oswego Measure 3-575

Ballot Title

Amends Charter; protects natural areas; allows access to nature.

Question: Shall the City of Lake Oswego amend its Charter to protect natural areas, habitat, water quality, and access to nature?

Summary: This measure would revise Chapter X of the Lake Oswego Charter and rename it “Preservation of Natural Areas”. 

This section of the City’s Charter would ensure that Springbrook Park; Cooks Butte Park; Woodmont Nature Park; Hallinan Woods; Stevens Meadow; Bryant Woods; Canal Acres; Cornell Natural Area; Glenmorrie Greenway; Kerr Open Space; Lamont Springs; River Run I and II; Southshore; Kelly Creek; Pennington Park; Sunny Slope; and the natural areas of West Waluga, East Waluga, George Rogers, Iron Mountain and Freepons Parks are managed to protect water quality, wildlife habitat, wildfire prevention and containment, aesthetic values, and ecological function and to allow trails accessible to people with different physical abilities and needs. 

Athletic Facilities, new public roads, and telecommunications facilities are prohibited in Natural Areas.  Restoration, stewardship, trails, and maintenance and renovation of existing facilities and structures are allowed. 

Other activities are only allowed after public involvement and adoption of a Master Plan.  This section would replace the existing “Chapter X - Park Development Limitations,” which applies only to Springbrook Park.

Explanatory Statement

The proposed “Preservation of Natural Areas” amendment of the City’s Charter revises Chapter X of the existing Charter to “preserve, protect, restore, and maintain the scenic and aesthetic qualities, ecological functions, water quality and wildlife habitat of Natural Areas that are owned by the City of Lake Oswego while also allowing for their use and enjoyment.”

Recognizing interest in increasing protections for parks and natural spaces in Lake Oswego, the City undertook a public engagement program to assess public attitudes and develop proposed changes to the City’s Charter.  The City’s engagement program included an online survey promoted by the City that was completed by 355 residents; a statistically representative poll of 405 Lake Oswego voters; two public listening conversations attended by 26 local residents; and 26 individual conversations with community leaders and stakeholders from the community. 

People in the community voiced a commitment to ensuring these places support a broad range of uses, while also protecting their natural integrity.  The City also heard feedback on a citizen initiative to amend the Charter that will be presented to voters in the November 2021 election. While some supported the measure, others raised concerns about unintended consequences that would impair other public priorities for these spaces.

Several themes emerged including:

  • The preservation and maintenance of parks and natural spaces are a key aspect of the high quality of life in Lake Oswego.
  • A desire to protect water quality and wildlife habitat. 
  • The importance of ensuring parks and natural spaces are accessible for people of various abilities. 
  • A focus on the need to prepare for climate change, particularly the need to prevent and contain wildfires, and protect wildfire response capabilities.

Using this feedback, the City’s elected leaders have proposed the Charter amendment that will allow:

  • Maintenance, stewardship, and education activities that promote ecological restoration and enhancement, eliminate invasive species, restore native species, and mitigate fire hazards.
  • Maintenance and renovation of trails for walking, hiking, wheelchairs and mobility devices, horseback riding, and non-motorized bicycle travel. Trail construction can only occur after an environmental assessment and review by the Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Advisory Board and must be appropriate to the conditions of a natural area.
  • Construction, maintenance, renovation, and replacement of picnic and sanitary facilities, boardwalks, benches, and interpretive displays where appropriate.

The Amendment would prohibit construction of new athletic facilities, commercial logging, construction of new public streets and roads, and construction or installation of new telecommunications facilities in designated Natural Areas.

Other uses and facilities related to restoration or access to Natural Areas would only be allowed under the Amendment after City Council adoption of a property-specific master plan for the designated area. The Council must engage the public in the development of the master plan, including Neighborhood Associations and all property owners within 300 feet of the Natural Area.

If both this measure and Ballot Measure 3-568 are approved, only the measure with the greater number of affirmative votes will become effective.

Submitted by:
Kari Linder, City Recorder | Elections Officer
City of Lake Oswego



As your Lake Oswego mayors we urge you to vote YES on measure 3-575 and to vote NO on measure 3-568. Our individual viewpoints and perspectives are varied, and we each served the community at times of different challenges. But we all share a sincere love for our city and agree that the Lake Oswego community continually demonstrates a high priority for the care of its parks and natural spaces. 

We support Measure 3-575 because it strengthens that commitment in several key ways: 

1. It ensures all of our natural areas are protected against uses incongruent with their preservation and care, including the natural areas of active use parks.  

2. It allows for community planning to determine if amenities such as hard surface trails and parking are appropriate for a given area.

3. It allows for equitable access to nature for people of different ages and abilities. Access inspires generations of the community to continue to care for the resources they love and advances a citywide culture that keeps our parks healthy. 

In addition, we support Measure 3-575 because it both builds on and protects the way our community has managed and invested in natural areas for decades.

Through many “Friends Of” groups, community engagement, planning and wise investment, LO’s dedication serves not just to maintain natural areas but further enhance and care for them.

As mayors we understand the significance of our city charter, and Measure 3-575 allows our community’s commitment to care for natural areas to continue for current and future residents without removing your voice in the process.

Competing Measure 3-568 falls short of empowering our residents to join together to ensure future generations enjoy the natural areas we love today.

Join us in voting YES on Measure 3-575 and NO on Measure 3-568. 

Mayor Joe Buck (current) 

Mayor Kent Studebaker (2013-2020)

Mayor Jack Hoffman (2009-2012)

Mayor Judie Hammerstad (2001 - 2008)

(This information furnished by Joe Buck)


Measure 3-575 is about working together to protect all of our Natural Areas.

As community leaders we want to work with the City to manage our valued assets, the City’s natural areas.   We look to motivate, inspire and gather people in productive ways that create and sustain meaningful transformation.  We look to see how best to contribute our energies to the restoration and enhancement of natural areas so they continue to thrive in the future.  These natural lands provide many environmental benefits, contributing to our sense of identity and pride as citizens of Lake Oswego.

Measure 3-575 respects what active people are doing collaboratively to preserve and protect our beloved natural areas. It invites fuller participation in the effort to make our natural open spaces places of healthy habitat for both humans and wildlife.  To “preserve and protect” means that we residents are caretakers, responsible for positive change in these cherished spaces.  This Measure was written after listening to the voices of people who have experience working in our natural areas.  By casting your vote in favor of 3-575, you are joining and supporting this ongoing dialogue of trusting care.

Lake Oswego City Councilors

John Wendland

Aaron Rapf

Rachael Verdick

Massene Mboup

Jackie Manz

Former Lake Oswego City Councilors

Bill Tierney

Skip O’Neill

Jeff Gudman

Charles Collins

Lake Grove Neighborhood Association

Dan Anderson

Trudy Corrigan

Jerome Nierengarten

Charles Fisher

Robert Dove

Upland Neighborhood Association

Larry Wobbrock

Rober Ervin

Hallinan Heights Neighborhood Association

Chris Huettemeyer

Sarah Ellison

Christy Clark

Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods

Debbie Craig

Gary Thompson

Bill Abadie

Friends of Iron Mountain Park

Susanna Campbell Kuo

Doug Hawley

Cliff Breedlove

Doug McKean

Cheryl Uchida

Karen Jacobson

Jan Castle

Bruce Brown

Rachel Garrett

Susan Greer

Mignon Ervin

Chris Thompson

Allan Solares

Kit Corrigan

Thomas Atwood

Alex Adhdaei

Janet Buck

Mike Darcy

(This information furnished by Stephanie Wagner, Friends of Lake Oswego Parks)


Vote ‘Yes to preserve our natural areas in Lake Oswego’s Parks.  Friends of Springbrook Park supports the City’s referendum to Preserve Natural Areas, Measure #3-575.

Springbrook Park has had the protection of Chapter X of the City Charter to prohibit development since 1978. Measure 3-575 continues this safeguard and extends it to all the City parks with natural areas.  The measure also allows for ongoing improvements for possible ADA access, fire prevention, trail surface maintenance and continued invasive removal and planting efforts in all of our City’s natural areas. With the cooperation of Friends of Springbrook Park and the Parks and Recreation Department over the last twenty years, stewardship and prudent management of this great resource has flourished. Measure 3-575 embraces citizen volunteerism and planning to guide the future directions of ecological care.

Vote YES on Measure 3-575. 

Friends of Springbrook Park Board: 

Thomas Bland

Melissa Cadish

H. Mike Carmichael

Ginny Haines

Anne Lider

Eric Lider

Paul Lyons

Kim Sloat

Laura Tanz 

Friends of Iron Mountain

Friends of Woodmont Park

Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods

Richard A. Herman, Board President

Friends of Luscher Farm

Amy Chase Herman, President

Friends of Rogerson Clematis Collection

Mary Solares, Chair

Friends of Southwood Park

(This information furnished by Thomas C. Bland, Friends of Springbrook Park)


Healthy, Sustainable Natural Spaces Need Our Protection

The Oswego Lake Watershed Council (OLWC) and the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network (LOSN) support  Measure 3-575.

We can all agree that we value our natural areas throughout Lake Oswego. A walk in the woods supports both our bodies and our souls.  But these natural areas need our protection and care if they are going to continue to thrive. Climate change threatens the viability of our natural areas and our urban forest.  These areas require intensive management to remove dead and dying trees and replant species that are better adapted to our more intensely hot summers and windy, icy winters. Fire also threatens our natural areas and we need to be able to plan for active fire suppression.

This measure is written to include all the natural areas within the city, not a limited number, to guarantee the protection and improvement of natural spaces throughout the city.

Our natural areas need to be accessible to all our residents, including those with vision as well as mobility challenges.  Hard surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete, allow the use of a white cane.  We need to be able to plan in order to have quality trails that everyone can use.

Good natural resource  management needs science-based planning and requires community input.  Ballot measure 3-575 specifically outlines a process for planning and maintaining our city’s natural areas.  This planning, coupled with active maintenance, will allow our natural areas to flourish in the future.

Please join us in voting yes on Measure 3-575 and together we can protect and enhance our precious natural areas.

Stephanie Wagner, Chair OLWC

Lisa Adatto, Chair LOSN

Michael Buck

Barbara Fisher

James Fisher

Thomas Bland

Mary Ratcliff

Kathleen Fox Wiens

Robert Sacks

Duke Castle

Dorothy Atwood

Mike Perham

Gabe Winfrey

Laurance Zurcher

Thomas Berridge

(This information furnished by Stephanie Wagner, Friends of Lake Oswego Parks)


Vote NO on Measure 3-575

Measure 3-575 is a rebuttal to citizen-initiated Measure 3-568 by City Council and some community members. Multiple attempts to reach common ground with Measure 3-575’s authors were made; they refused and insisted we abandon our efforts. Don’t be misled by nice sounding words and slogans that provide fewer legal protections under the guise of preservation; Springbrook Park would lose protections enjoyed since 1978 and 15 other natural parks would continue to be at risk.

Waste of taxpayer resources

It should raise concern the City engaged a political firm, Praxis Political, at taxpayer expense for a rushed, biased, and political “public process” that resulted in no material changes to the draft text first presented to City Council on June 15, 2021 and ratified on Aug 3rd. A “public process” for such an important effort would assuredly shape the outcome more substantially.

The numbers don’t add up

One should also question the City’s claims on engaging 812 residents. Individuals could participate in 1 or all 4 activities and many did. Additionally, Lake Oswego residency was never verified. Contrast that with over 4,800 petition signatures, 4,433 from certified Lake Oswego voters, that qualified citizen-initiated Measure 3-568 for the ballot.

3-575’s Charter text:

  • Inaccurately renames Chapter X falsely describing its intent and effect
  • Fails to specify natural park acreage and boundaries until a later date
  • Risks the potential to divide parks into natural and developable areas
  • Eliminates several protections sought after in citizens’ Measure 3-568
  • Redefines telecommunications facility that may allow for public towers
  • Removes certain existing protections from Springbrook Park
  • Enacts the same tedious public process for “other uses and structures” that minimizes citizen involvement and voice

This is “business as usual” and NOT the development limitations citizens seek.

Get Informed

Please join our grassroots effort:

  • Vote NO on City Council’s Measure 3-575
  • Vote YES on Citizen-initiated Measure 3-568

(This information furnished by Scott Handley, LoveLOParks)


This Measure is a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Although it pretends to support “preservation” of Lake Oswego natural areas, it in fact erodes protections for Springbrook Park.  It also uses vague and innocuous sounding phrases like “ecological restoration”:  Do not be fooled, in one LO City sponsored “listening” session, the destruction at Woodmont Park was described as “restoration”.  This measure allows the City to partition our natural parks into developable areas without additional voter review and approval.   This measure provides virtually no protection for our natural parks.

Vote NO on Measure 3-575

This LO City measure (3-575) was written to allow the City to develop our natural parks in any way they see fit.  They were concerned that the competing LoveLOParks citizens’ measure (3-568) would do what it was intended to do, preserve our natural parks.  Development of our natural parks should require LO voter approval, which measure 3-575 does not require.

The LoveLOParks measure (3-568) ensures 15 additional natural parks have the same legal protections that Springbrook Park currently has, and it includes clear legal protections against development in these natural parks (visit to see the comparison chart of these two competing measures).

Vote NO on Measure 3-575, which allows City development of our natural parks

Vote YES on Citizen-Initiated Measure 3-568, which provides clear legal protections for our natural parks

Kirsten Sommer, Lake Oswego Resident for 20 years

(This information furnished by Kirsten Sommer)