On Dec. 3, 2019, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, acting as the Board of Directors for the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD), and the Happy Valley City Council approved a settlement agreement that resolves a two-year legal dispute over parks and recreation services.
In June 2017, the Happy Valley City Council took action to withdraw from NCPRD and to provide their own parks and recreation services to Happy Valley residents. However, the City did not follow appropriate state law in withdrawing from the District.
On Dec. 13, the Circuit Court ruled that the City of Happy Valley improperly withdrew from the District. Read the court ruling.
On Aug. 16, 2019, a jury awarded the City of Happy Valley roughly $18 million in its claims that NCPRD had breached its original 2005 contract with the city for failing to complete certain projects. NCPRD will review its legal options to determine its next steps, including a possible appeal of the judge’s original ruling. Read the county’s official statement.
During the legal proceedings, the District has continued to maintain facilities and programming in Happy Valley without receiving a permanent tax rate from Happy Valley residents.
NCPRD will continue to make any necessary adjustments to our operations and budgets to provide the best service and value possible to our residents.
What is NCPRD?
The North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District (NCPRD) is a service district of Clackamas County. It provides exceptional parks and recreation programs, facilities and services to more than 122,000 residents in a 36-square-mile area, including the cities of Milwaukie and Happy Valley, and a large area of northern unincorporated Clackamas County including Oak Grove, Jennings Lodge and more.
The NCPRD offers residents the use of more than 39 parks, 25 natural areas, 15 miles of trails, the Hood View Sports Complex, the North Clackamas Aquatic Park, the Milwaukie Center and Mount Talbert Nature Park.
Citizens voted to create the NCPRD in 1990, and Happy Valley voted to join the District in 2006. According to the measure approved in 2006 by Happy Valley voters, “City Finances alone cannot adequately fund parks and recreation.”
The NCPRD has its own permanent taxing authority, with 54 cents of every $1,000 of assessed value dedicated to providing parks and recreation services in the community.
|Dec. 3, 2019||City of Happy Valley and Clackamas County/NCPRD reached settlement agreement on parks, contingent on legislation.|
|Aug. 16, 2019||On Aug. 16, 2019, a jury awarded the City of Happy Valley roughly $18 million in its claims that NCPRD had breached its contract with the city for failing to complete certain projects. NCPRD will review its legal options to determine its next steps, including a possible appeal of the judge’s original ruling.|
|Jan. 22, 2019||A judge ruled that financial damages, if any arising from an earlier ruling that NCPRD breached the contract with the city to build parks, will be decided at trial.|
NCPRD held four public meetings in December 2018 and January 2019 for people who live in the District (Happy Valley, Milwaukie and unincorporated areas of North Clackamas County) and wanted to learn how this could affect them. View the latest presentation.
Read NCPRD’s letter to residents about the meetings.
|Dec. 13, 2018||The Court determined that the City of Happy Valley had not followed Oregon law when it attempted to withdraw from NCPRD. The City was not allowed to act unilaterally to withdraw, but instead must follow the process in ORS 198 in which a petition is presented to the Board of County Commissioners to start the process.|
|Dec. 12, 2018||A hearing is held in Circuit Court in Happy Valley’s lawsuit on the form of Order on Summary Judgment. The court takes the question under advisement to decide if, after the Court’s earlier ruling that NCPRD was in breach of the agreement, Happy Valley is entitled to damages at this time or if damages must be determined at trial in August 2019.|
|Dec. 5, 2018||A hearing on NCPRD’s Motion for Summary Judgment is held in the declaratory judgment action in Circuit Court on the question of whether Happy Valley’s attempt to withdraw from NCPRD was proper, or illegal and void.|
|Nov. 28, 2018||The Circuit Court denied a request by Happy Valley to dismiss a declaratory judgment filed by the NCPRD, Clackamas County, and the Clackamas County Assessor to decide the question of whether the City’s attempt to withdraw from NCPRD was legal.|
|Oct. 29, 2018||The Circuit Court denied a request by Happy Valley to dismiss a declaratory judgment filed by the NCPRD, Clackamas County, and the Clackamas County Assessor to decide the question of whether the City’s attempt to withdraw from NCPRD was legal.|
|Oct. 12, 2018||The Circuit Court denies Happy Valley's motion to consolidate the declaratory judgment action with the lawsuit seeking a share of the District's assets filed earlier by Happy Valley. This decision allowed for an earlier hearing on a Motion for Summary Judgment.|
|Sept. 19, 2018||The Oregon Tax Court rules that the Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) exceeded its authority in rescinding approval of a boundary change sought by the City of Happy Valley during its attempt to withdraw from NCPRD. The decision invalidates the June DOR decision that rescinded the boundary approval and reinstates the DOR’s March approval of the boundary change.|
|June 19, 2018||Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) rescinds approval of Happy Valley's boundary change. DOR determined that the City did not follow appropriate state law in withdrawing from NCPRD.|
|May 15, 2018||City of Happy Valley voters approve establishing a five-year local option levy for parks and recreation services with the same assessed tax rate as NCPRD.|
|Nov. 2017||NCPRD files a countersuit against Happy Valley.|
|Oct. 2017||Happy Valley files a lawsuit against NCPRD seeking a share of the District’s assets and substantial cash.|
|June 2017||The Happy Valley City Council votes to withdraw from NCPRD effective Dec. 31, 2017.|