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Cedar Mill News
Volume 3, Issue 5


May 2005

Recently cleared lot at the corner of NW 119th and Cornell, looking south toward Cornell

Cedar Mill Creek Wetland on Cornell

By Virginia Bruce, editor

Early last month, local residents became suspicions when they saw that brush had been cut on a lot at the northeast corner of Cornell and 119th. Fearing that development was imminent on the recently-annexed stretch, local residents began to investigate. They found that Beaverton had zoned the lot at the corner as “community service” (commercial) and the remainder of the lots eastward as R-5 and R-6 (residential).

Joe Grillo, spokesman for Beaverton Planning, noted that, “Our Urban Planning Area Agreement with the County requires that we give any property that is brought into the City the most similar zoning/planning designation. At this time the City does not have a park or an institutional zoning district; we are looking at creating an institutional zoning district. At this time the City has not authorized a site development permit nor a land use decision to perform any permanent improvements to this parcel. I might speculate that a portion of this parcel will come into play as part of the Cornell Road improvements -- such improvements will need to meet the County’s road standards as well as the City’s land use/site development standards.”

Further investigation showed that it was the County itself that had done the clearing on the lot at 119th and Cornell. (see photo) The County purchased this lot from Norman White a number of years ago to widen 119th. Located just across the road from the site of the old cedar sawmill, the site had held a nursery building belonging to a Mr. Peterson, and when Mr. White bought it he moved an ice cream store to the property. It then became a small grocery, but when the County bought the land it razed the building.

The remaining property to the east belongs to the Settlement Place Homeowners Association. Cedar Mill Creek runs through the property on its way to the culvert that passes under Cornell, and then over Cedar Mill Falls. Because of the creek, most of the land is unbuildable. (see map)

Clearing was done to allow surveying related to the road improvements necessitated by the Teufel development. The first phase of this development will be built at the northern end of the Teufel property, and the development will be accessed by a southbound road east of the 119th intersection. A right-turn lane will be added eastbound, and a left-turn lane and divider will be added westbound. Polygon, the developer building the Teufel project, submitted two plans, one for a 45-mph road that would have required straightening the road and adding a bridge, and one for a 35-mph road mostly following the present grade and utilizing the existing culvert. The county agreed to accept the 35-mph option. “We don’t want traffic going any faster along there anyway,” says chief County Engineer Greg Miller.

At one point, Polygon suggested locating a water quality facility on the north side of Cornell to handle runoff, but Beaverton “didn’t like” that option. It was probably this suggestion that caused one investigator to note that some type of “extension” had been proposed for the north side of Cornell.

Sidewalks will be installed on both sides of the street. Eventually the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District may take over management of this area, installing an elevated trail along the wetland margin that would connect a planned trail through the Teufel development from Barnes Road and presumably continuing northeast through the Sentinel Pole Plaza and up to Jordan/Husen Park.

When all the construction is completed, the County plans to do a restoration project on their property. Rick Raetz, Washington County drainage specialist says, “there’s a big cedar tree there and a springs that comes out of the hillside. We’ll work with the park district to clear out the invasives and plant natives.”

We can look forward to the day when the entire stretch between Cedar Hills Boulevard and 119th will be an attractive wetland area and a valuable addition to the THPRD trails system, which is planned to link the entire district.



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The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
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Portland, OR 97291-0177

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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229