A few months ago I began receiving occasional notes from "Richard" on Up Fanno Creek’s FaceBook site. I always meant to get right back to him, but invariably something would sidetrack me and I’d fail to follow through. Since he was kind enough to visit the site in the first place, and kinder still not to give me hell for failing to respond in a timely way, I decided to tackle all his excellent questions all in one post:
Thanks so much for your interest in the watershed, and for your questions (Italics below) regarding several interesting areas along Fanno Creek. I apologize for being so long in answering them and hope you don’t mind me turning them into the fodder for a post to my blog. I hope you find my responses useful, if not interesting. I also hope you will continue taking a lively interest in The Watershed!
1. When did you last see the demolished Greenwood Inn Hotel by the southeast intersection of highway 217 and SW Allen Blvd?
I travel north to south through the watershed at least a couple times a week, usually traveling on Scholls Ferry Road. That has me crossing Allen Blvd. on a regular basis; but I rarely travel east to west along Allen, so I don’t actually recall EVER seeing that structure. I’ve dug around on the internet a little, but there’s not much there, as you probably know already. Here’s what I was able to dig up using Washington County’s niffty mapping tool:
a. The lot (R189584) for 10700 SW Allen Blvd. (street address for the now absent motel) is 8.54 acres.
b. It’s described as being “Commercial/Vacant.”
c. Assessed value 2013 was $5,208,030
d. 2013 taxes were $97,608.92 – but the total tax liability is $492,987.66 because…
e. back-taxes (2010-2012) amount to $398,307.01
f. Ownership information is not available online; but if you really want to know, here’s what the county says to do:
Owner information is considered public record. However, Washington County does not provide this information to the public via our online applications. The County Administrative Office (CAO) assists the Board of Commissioners in providing overall policy direction to county programs. Question regarding County policies can be sent to email@example.com If you require more information about this property please call our Assessment & Taxation Department at 503-846-8741.
2.a. Have you also been to the creek by McMillian Park that is around a half mile from that demolished hotel? The county/bes/ or someone has restored the creek over there as it goes under SW Chesnut Place. They removed a huge slab of concrete by the paved trail and planted a lot of trees. The trail leads to 5th Avenue in Beaverton.
McMillian Park is a THPRD property. The stream is the same unnamed Hall Creek trib that flows into Little Peoples Park. If you want to learn more about how THPRD manages these kinds of sites – especially the natural resource components – think about attending one of the regular Natural Resource Advisory Committee meetings. Or you could address an inquiry to THPRD proper. Another group that can provide some insight into Beaverton Creek (the end destiny for the waters that flow out McMillian Park) is Friends of Beaverton Creek. Wonderful folks and their meetings are open and fun.
2.b. Also, the Little People Park on SW 5th Ave right by highway 217 has had the wetlands restored lately.
Yes, it has! Another THPRD property. What great work they’ve done on this one. Note the presence of sprinklers. You know quality restoration is taking place when you see a sprinkler system set up like this one. The wetlands here is part of an overflow/retention system that includes Griffith Park (THPRD property) over on the west side of 217. You’ve probably seen that park filled to the rim with stormwater from time to time. Exactly how the two are “plumbed” I’m not sure, but together they take a lot of pressure off of the more heavily developed sections of Hall Creek, one of Beaverton Creek’s major tributaries.
3. What do you think about the proposed plans for light rail in Tigard on either highway 99 or SW 72nd Ave?
(trash in Beaverton wetlands) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTbRfua5aPs
I’ve not studied the initiative a great deal, as I am not a resident of Tigard. I have several friends who live in Tigard – people whose opinions usually carry a great deal of weight with me – and they are ALL voting “no” on the initiative.
4. Did you see the huge, ugly, two story concrete structure that is on the banks of the Fanno Creek Greenway? It is very close to the intersection of SW Alled Blvd and SW Scholls Ferry Road.
One evergreen tree was chopped on one side. It is hideous. Why there? There are other empty warehouses in that industrial area to the west.
5. Have you seen the prep work for the all-new Fanno Creek bridge on Oleson Road?
I can’t pull an image of the Green Monster you describe here from the general fog that surrounds my brain these days, but I’ll get down to the intersection soon and take a better look. Meanwhile, it looks as if the long studied renovation project for that entire area is finally getting underway. The mess of intersections at the intersections of Scholls/Oleson/Hillsdale Highway/SW Dogwood has been a focus of local, regional and state authorities for at least a couple decades. I went to a couple of feed-back sessions in 2008 but since then have focused mostly on creek issues further to the south. But here’s a good link if you want to get a better sense of how Washington County is approaching the planning process in that area.
Has any of this helped? Sure hope so.
Let me ask you a question in return: Have you spent any time in the small park to the south of the area you address in 4&5? It’s called Bauman Park and is a THPRD Natural Area. They’ve been working on it a great deal, but it is a tough little nut of a place. It was once called Blackberry Park. Yard-per-yard, it has one of the most extensive collection of odious plants in it I’ve seen in the watershed. It’s an area that will soon need a “friends” group of its own. On the flip side, for its small size it has some of the best bones of any parkland I’ve seen around here. Check it out!