The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, sitting as the Board of Directors of the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District, on Thursday, June 6, unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District to sell a portion of Trolley Trail property to TriMet in exchange for adjacent property, subject to TriMet’s ownership of the land. TriMet has not yet acquired all the property necessary to complete its portion of the transaction.
The resolution follows two questions on the May 21 ballot relating to the future of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project:
- Clackamas County voters rejected Measure 3-424, which asked: Should Clackamas County use certain County resources to meet previous contractual commitments toward the Portland Milwaukie Light Rail Project?
- Voters in the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD) approved the following advisory question by a vote of 9,516 in favor and 7,744 opposed: Should the NCPRD [North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District] sell a portion of the “Trolley Trail” property to TriMet, where TriMet would: • Sell a strip of adjacent property to NCPRD for the trail;
• Construct that section of the trail without cost to NCPRD; and
• Provide NCPRD with additional compensation to make up the difference in value.
Commission Chair John Ludlow said: "We want to get this thing going and get our trail back together, but as stated in our resolution, until TriMet is capable of performing and conveying clear title to the subject property, the deal will not be consummated."
Commissioner Jim Bernard said: "The District Advisory Board is very interested in moving forward on this as rapidly as possible."
Commissioner Paul Savas said: "My interest is getting the Trolley Trail property in our possession — that needs to be the focus. I'd like to see this get under way as expeditiously as possible."
Commissioner Martha Schrader said: “The county has made every effort to meet our legal agreements and regional commitments with our public and partners. The sooner we move forward, the sooner the Trolley Trail will be completed for the benefit of all.”
Commissioner Tootie Smith, referring to the Board's public outreach, said: "I don't see how we could have reached out to the public any more than we did when we asked them to vote on light rail. We've tried very hard to listen to what the public has to say."
TriMet has filed a lawsuit against Clackamas County to compel the county to meet its contractual obligations related to the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project. A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 27.