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Wizer Block appeal likely to be heard in late September

Developer Patrick Kessi files notice of intent to appeal DRC's rejection


Developer Patrick Kessi filed the required paperwork Wednesday — and paid nearly $5,000 in application fees — for an appeal of the rejected Wizer Block proposal to the Lake Oswego City Council.

Given public-notice requirements, city officials said this week, it is now likely that the council will take up the issue during the week of Sept. 22-26.

Even then, officials said, Kessi will not be allowed to make any changes to his already redesigned proposal. According to Lake Oswego city code, an appellant cannot introduce new evidence, which means Kessi can only refute the findings that led the Development Review Commission to reject his plan last week based on information already on the record.

Kessi, who said he was surprised by the DRC's 3-2 vote, had indicated earlier this month that he would appeal.

"I'm pleased that we've accomplished this important step in the approval process," he said. "Now I'm really looking forward to presenting (this) much-improved design to the City Council."

At issue is Kessi's plan to replace the former home of Wizer's Oswego Foods with a 290,000-square-foot, mixed-use development at the corner of A Avenue and First Street. The development would include 207 residential units and about 36,000 square feet of retail space.

The DRC rejected that plan in late July. When commissioners affirmed their findings last week, they added detailed amendments in an effort to explain their decision, focusing on whether Kessi's design reflected downtown Lake Oswego’s “village character” and its requirement for "small-scale structures"; whether the residential/commercial split he proposed was appropriate for the city’s so-called “compact shopping district” as defined by the Urban Design Plan; and whether the proposal violated code restrictions on ground-floor residential use.

Those questions led to several nights of lengthy and spirited debate in July.

Under the city’s established master schedule of fees and charges, the cost to file an appeal comes to $4,903. Once an appeal is filed, city staff must post a public notice two weeks prior to the hearing. Given those parameters, officials said, Kessi’s appeal would likely be scheduled for the week of Sept. 22.

Contact Saundra Sorenson at 503-636-1281 ext. 107 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




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