December 2020 Development News

Biggi lot

Biggi proposal raises Thompson Road questions

Neighborhood meeting Thursday, December 17, 6 pm, online (*click here for registration instructions)

For many years, it was expected that future development would enable the curve in Thompson Road, just west of Hibbard, to be straightened out. That segment of road was originally in Multnomah County, but became part of Washington County when the county line was changed to create Bonny Slope West

The Right-of-Way (ROW) for the Thompson Road straightening was dedicated by the Thompson Highlands subdivision development to the southeast in 1990 and the Tualatin Valley Water District to the west in 2012. This ROW is visible on this map. In 2015 at Bonny Slope West planning meetings, the county staff told community members concerned about safety that Thompson Road realignment was being pursued, and designated the land around this curve the “Thompson Road Realignment Study Area.” 

Biggi lot

Thompson is designated as a minor arterial on county plans, which means it needs to be three lanes with curbs and sidewalks, and a total width of 90 feet. It is currently two lanes at this site without bike paths or sidewalks on the south side. We believe that the Thompson Woods subdivision dedicated sufficient ROW for its half of the three-lane road when it was built, although we’ve been unable to confirm that yet. It did include curbs and sidewalks along the frontage of the existing Thompson alignment. The realignment was on the table when it was approved in 2016.

Biggi Family Investments purchased the dome-shaped lot a number of years ago, and had a pre-application meeting with Washington County as early as 2016. As part of these meetings the county’s Traffic Impact Statement mentioned inadequate sight distance at this curve, the need for three-lanes for Thompson, and that the county had been planning a realignment of the roadway. It’s unclear if the county is going to request the ROW or if the Biggi’s are prepared to dedicate it. Land use law and court precedent suggests that land can be taken if the taking is proportional to the development’s impact on the public good. However, Washington County has mostly been reluctant to pursue such a course.


Neighbors in Thompson Highlands are concerned about traffic safety with a new development on this curve, since there have been several accidents nearby over the years. And they remember being reassured in 2015 that the county would study Thompson Road as Thompson Woods was built out, but they don’t think that has happened. In addition, the current plan calls for the entrance to be at an angle to Thompson, and left turns into and out of the development will have to cross traffic with inadequate sight distance.

These and other questions will come up during the Neighborhood Meeting, so be sure to register and attend if you live or drive in the area.

Ten lots with attached dwellings

Mimi Doukas represents AKS Engineering and Forestry LLC, and is organizing the meeting. She explained the plans. “There will be ten dwelling units on ten lots. Each home will be attached on one side, but they will be for-sale homes on individual lots, like a two unit townhome. Lots 9-10 are just like the others, but the homes will be rotated 90 degrees. Lot 9 will have more yard space than the other lots. Each home will have a garage plus parking in the driveway.”

*Go to the project website and follow the link for registration to attend the meeting. Complete the online registration form and you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the Zoom webinar at the scheduled time as well as additional instructions. 

Please submit any questions in advance to mimid@aks-eng.com. Questions received by 5 pm the evening before the meeting will be answered in the Q&A portion of the meeting. Questions may also be asked during the interactive meeting.

Arterial

A functional class of roadways intended to provide general mobility for travel within the region. Correctly sized Arterials at appropriate intervals allow through trips to remain on the Arterial system thereby discouraging use of Local Streets for cut-through traffic. Arterials link major commercial, residential, industrial and institutional areas. From the 2019 Washington County Transportation System Plan.