Created on Wednesday, 25 January 2017 | Written by Tony Holt
How did a farm property, classified for Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) and lying in the French Prairie Rural Reserve, end up being bought by multi car dealership owners Bob Lanphere and David Jachter? We’re talking about the Red Barn former farm stand property at Charbonneau’s Exit 282B, off I-5, south of Wilsonville.
We were told they purchased it in order to take their cars from the new Wilsonville Subaru dealership at the north end of the I-5 Boone Bridge to this property on the south end for storage, washing, prepping, etc. Were they unaware of the EFU classification? Surely these sophisticated big businessmen would not make that mistake. Was it ignorance or arrogance?
According to Claire Green’s article in the Jan. 18 issue of the Wilsonville Spokesman, the dealership’s manager said there are no plans “at this time” to pursue the development of the (EFU) parcel any further. That’s very interesting, because just last week Senate Bill 186 was introduced by Sen. Betsy Johnson-Scappose, which, among other things, would require that the EFU designation of the parcel in question be reclassified as ‘Rural Industrial’ We wonder just who might have decided to go to the Legislature, which starts its session Feb. 1, to get help when this is clearly an issue that should be dealt with by Clackamas County.
If the dealership does not plan to use the land “at this time” are they simply waiting for passage of Senate Bill 186 to claim that as the right time? Or are they truly land speculators, hoping for a designation change so they can either develop another business or cash in on their investment and sell for a premium amount over what they paid for it?
That would be déjà vu. We’ve seen this type of attempted land speculation across the freeway at Langdon Farms and elsewhere. It’s another example of the speculator’s mantra ‘we can get what we want if we have enough money behind us and find a few of our politician friends to support us’. This ‘support’ is now contained in Senate Bill 186, drafted for the upcoming legislative session.
Where is the truth about the Subaru dealership’s plans? Will it get the
re-designation, decide that IS the right time to develop the property for cars or some other business? Or has it decided to seek a significant return on its investment by using the re-designation to ‘Rural Industrial’, which would be more inviting for a business, to sell the property for a big profit? Where’s the truth?
If the decision is to use the property for handling cars, how would they convince I-5 Boone Bridge daily commuters, suffering congestion at all hours of the day, not just at rush hour, that the Bridge can easily handle the additional flow of Subaru vehicles from the dealership to the property at the south end of the Bridge and back north to the dealership?
If the decision is to sell at a profit, why should a land speculator be rewarded by the Legislature agreeing the owner can circumvent Oregon’s land use rules?
And then we noted a recent change of ownership of the property. Late last December ownership was transferred from BL & DJ LLC (Lanphere & Jachter) to Lanphere Construction & Development LLC. What is the significance of that transaction?
The Subaru dealership needs to be truthful and transparent with Wilsonville residents about their plans for our surrounding farmland if they want to be good citizens of this City.
Tony Holt is president of the Charbonneau homeowners association.
Source: T. Holt. 1.26.17. Written for W. Spokesman.