Progress was made earlier this week on bringing a public riverwalk at Willamette Falls one step closer to reality. Willamette Falls Legacy Project staff received Falls Legacy LLC’s signatures on multiple permit applications that would allow the riverwalk project to move into the permitting phase. Elected officials from Oregon City, Clackamas County, Metro and the State of Oregon are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to submit permit applications after we receive the funds due to the project from Falls Legacy LLC.
Since unveiling a world-class riverwalk design last June, we’ve been excited to move the project into the next phase, which includes applying for permits and ultimately beginning construction. As we announced in September, however, the riverwalk project encountered a delay.
Late last fall, the project Partners group directed Willamette Falls Legacy Project staff to research options on moving the project forward, including acquiring the site. The City of Oregon City, on behalf of all four partner agencies, took the lead on making an offer to Falls Legacy LLC, which was rejected. Falls Legacy, however, expressed interest in continuing to work together to build the future of the historic site.
Last month, we again asked Falls Legacy LLC for signatures on the riverwalk permit applications, as well as payments due on taxes, utilities and money due under the terms of the easement. We had an encouraging development this week when we received signatures on the documents necessary to move the riverwalk project into the permitting phase, as well as a letter indicating Falls Legacy’s intent to bring property taxes, utilities and riverwalk payments current.
At a meeting Wednesday, elected officials from all four partner agencies discussed the riverwalk project and expressed appreciation for Falls Legacy’s cooperation and signatures on the permit applications. Because being good stewards of public money is a top priority, the project Partners group asked that staff wait to submit permit applications until we receive the promised funds from Falls Legacy LLC.
We are committed to transparency and responsibly delivering on Oregonians’ investments and vision to create a public riverwalk at Willamette Falls.
Together as partners, Oregon City, Clackamas County, Metro and the State of Oregon share the project’s four core values: economic redevelopment, historic and cultural interpretation, public access and healthy habitat. Each of the four core values is as important as the others.
We are excited for the opportunity to work together to bring the vision of thousands of Oregonians to life, and the project Partners group is cautiously optimistic that we will be able to move the project forward this spring.