Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This is part of the view from my studio building.  It is a lovely broad look across the Clackamas River Valley.  We can also see the coast range and enjoy the western setting sun from this vantage.  It is a great spot for a studio, the fields are planted in flowers for the farmer's markets and the Canadian geese make this neighboring field one of their annual stopping places.

 Metro (a layer of government which controls the future of real estate) included this land and the land in the Damascus /Happy Valley/ Carver region for the controlled expanse of Portland , or Urban Growth Boundry, as the city needed new properties for the growing populations in our region.  My first experience with Metro, was at a meeting for the citizens of the newly formed city of Damascus, they were informing us about how we all needed to agree on a comprehensive plan that would include these rules for the UGB, many, thankfully were environmental concerns, which was needed of course, but not much concern for the people who would be living these changes.  After looking at the map which had our neighboorhood (more than 100 residents) I felt that I needed to ask:  why it was designated "industrial" -- since there were so many single family homes (built in the late 60's early 70's, established trees, etc), and the answer was :  "well, there won't be", meaning that come help or high water, there would be industrial building in this area, no matter that there were houses in place.  The city of Damascus, which the local people formed, would surely give some strength to what the people would like to see, maybe not an industrial area overlayed on this area, but not.  The city was already obliged to make Metro's dreams come true, not the citizens.  So.  There has been much to do about the land use issues in this area.  Many people want to leave the city now as they did not get the help they thought they could get from the city of Damascus.  Industry is coming.  I have tried, working with the city when it was new, thinking that I would be supported to build an Art Village here, expand Stonewood Gardens to include small shops with apartments above. Not exactly industrial, but it would have added so much needed culture to this area.  There are so many rules and regulations in Clackamas County that an Art Village which allows individuals to occupy and work in separate buildings would cause so many variations from the standard of designs it would not be worth the effort.  Possibly another place in the world would be better.  I will miss the view.  My love for a more natural way of living won't work here, and just like the deer and other wildlife, I will find another place away from this impending environmental change.  I will flee from the confines of the pavement and political manipulations.  It will be a new beginning.


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