The Clackamas County Commissioners voted on March 9 to approve a sale of a park, originally purchased and improved through the use of SDCs, to the North Clackamas School District. HBA testified at the meeting and is working to ensure transparency and clarity throughout the process.
HBA staff testified at a Clackamas County Commission meeting on March 9 regarding the sale of Hood View Park from the North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District (NCPRD) to the North Clackamas School District (NCSD). HBA is supportive of the spirit of the land purchase and sale agreement and agrees that this space would have a great value for the students of NCSD. However, some concerns arose regarding Hood View park’s original funding that HBA believed needed to be addressed by NCPRD before the transaction was completed in order to avoid any possible legal implications.
Per the HBA’s understanding, NCPRD utilized funds to purchase and improve the land that is now Hood View Park collected by NCPRD and other jurisdictions, such as Happy Valley, in the form of System Development Charges (SDCs) from new development as they are authorized to do so under state law. The HBA’s concern was that absent from this sale agreement is a defined plan to repay an equivalent amount of funds used for the purchase and improvement of Hood View Park into the Parks SDC fund. HBA requested at the meeting that an amendment be made to the agreement that states the intention of NCPRD to repay those funds into the Parks SDC account and when they intend to do so in order to remain in compliance with the legal nature of the funds.
NCPRD has also stated the benefits of the sale would allow it to meet a variety of financial needs of the district, $1 million in annual revenue would be repurposed for critical district operational needs, improvement of existing facilities and capital held in Hood View Park would be deconcentrated for more investment throughout the district. HBA raised concerns at the meeting that if the land purchase and sale is to completed prior to this needed clarification, NCPRDs stated intentions for the proceeds of this sale and existing capital would be in violation of the allowed uses of SDC funds and agreements with nearby jurisdictions. HBA staff asked that the intended uses of proceeds from this agreement be more clearly defined and reviewed to ensure that they are in compliance with all standing capital improvement plans, intergovernmental agreements and state law.
Commissioner Savas acknowledged the complicated legalities involving SDCs but the Commissioners ultimately approved the sale in a 5-0 vote. The HBA will continue to engage with our community partners and jurisdictions within the park’s region to ensure any misuse of funds is addressed. HBA greatly values its strong working relationship with Clackamas County and looks forward to a positive outcome for all on this matter.