Appeal for “Park Letters”

March 9, 2018

Dear History Detectives:

As you know from presentations at recent OLHD meetings, the Oak Lodge History Detectives have been involved for some months in Section 106 negotiations about the former Jennings Lodge campground as required by the National Historic Preservation Act.  OLHD’s involvement in this effort is consistent with OLHD’s mission. Although the former Jennings Lodge Camp, established in 1904 was designated eligible to be considered as a National Historic District by Oregon’s State Historic Preservation Office or SHPO, the Campground is, nevertheless, slated to be demolished and replaced by a residential development.

The History Detectives along with the Jennings Lodge Community Planning Organization (CPO) are consulting parties to negotiations being led by the US Army Corps of Engineers to consider whether any part of the camp meeting site can be saved, and if not, what types of mitigation will be needed to offset resulting damage.

As a part of the Section 106 process, the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District has offered to purchase approximately two to two and a half acres from the developer, Lennar Northwest, for a small park to commemorate the history of the former camp in Jennings Lodge.  In an area severely lacking in public park space, any park space would be most welcome by  residents of Oak Lodge.  Such a park could also serve to honor the nearly 110 year old former evangelical camp meeting site and help preserve its legacy.

The cost of such a park could be a severely limiting factor on its realization.  Normally, land purchased for public use from a private party should be consistent with Fair Market Value or FMV.  In this case, the exigency of paying for a public green space in the Oak Lodge area could well result in a higher than average FMV than NCPRD or BCC would normally authorize.

The developer has already expended funds for overall development of the former campground property during the last two years. Thus, Lennar NW may want greater reimbursement for the lots and therefore ask for greater than FMV for any lots sold to the NCPRD. At the same time, Oak Lodge remains severely underserved in terms of park space despite 26 years of paying taxes to the NCPRD for parks. Therefore the NCPRD and the county might determine that paying more than FMV would be appropriate in this situation where available land for parks is so limited.

Right now, we do not know exactly what has transpired between the developer and NCPRD, and rightly we cannot expect to know the details of such negotiations.  However, we DO KNOW that purchase of the park may be discussed very soon by the Board of County Commissioners who also serve as the Board of North Clackamas Parks and Recreation.  We suspect the discussion of park purchase will take place at an upcoming executive session early this coming week (Executive sessions are not open to the public) .

Therefore, we ask History Detectives members and friends to write, email, or telephone the BCC by five pm, TUESDAY, asking the NCPRD/BCC to support purchasing  land for a small park to honor the Jennings Lodge Camp which will also provide new public green space for all of Oak Lodge.  In this situation, if you believe the park is important enough to merit paying greater than the customary FMV, please say that also. And if you believe Oak Lodge needs more park space, we hope you will also mention the importance of providing new parks in our area.

Thank you.


Michael Schmeer, Chairman, OLHD



Chairman Jim Bernard               

Commissioner Martha Schrader

Commissioner Paul Savas          

Commissioner Ken Humberston

Commissioner Sonya Fischer     

County Administrator Donald Krupp

NCPRD Director Scott Archer     

Mailing Address for the Board of County Commissioners:
2051 Kaen Road
Oregon City, OR 97045

Mailing Address for the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation:
NCPRD Administration Offices
150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, OR 97045

Telephone number for the BCC:  503-655-85

Telephone number for NCPRD:    503.742.4348


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