What’s in a Name?

A bit of trivia about the Property Blotter. Linda and I started our blog many years ago. Blogging was new to real estate and we had the good fortune of working with someone who was in the know about how to do it. Ron Ares, the son of our principal broker was a new agent who was interviewed by the New York Times because of the blog he had for Portland real estate. I was like “What?!” At that point I had a couple of decades in the business and realized that the power of the blog was pretty incredible for the recognition that Ron got as a result of his efforts. So Linda and I were on board.

Then it was time to choose a name. We knew we wanted to have a name that was uniquely LO. We brainstormed lots of options and came up with the Property Blotter. The name comes from the Police Blotter that was published weekly in the Lake Oswego Review. The Lake Oswego Police have 100% response policy. If you call them, they show up. The police calls are then reported in the local newspaper. What they respond to can be pretty funny. So the local blotter has been a source of local entertainment for many years.

Here is a sampling of what was reported in the August 12th edition of the LO Review:

7/31 9:43 A.M.

A dead squirrel was seen near the 18400 block of Deerbrush Avenue

7/31 12:54 P.M.

A man was seen laying sideways on a step near Boones Ferry Road and Kruse Way Place

7/31 1:19 P.M.

A caller believed someone was selling dogs our of cages in a truck near the 40 block of McNary Parkway. It turned out to be a part of an adoption program.

7/31 9:34 P.M.

Someone was seen walking in the middle of the street near SW Lesser Road and Jefferson Parkway

8/1 7:00 P. M.

A resident said she was being followed by two people at a store near the 90 block of B Avenue. Police made sure she got home safely. (I love this one. Who doesn’t want a police escort if you feel unsafe?)

8/2 12:55 A.M.

Intermittent “constuction-type noises” were heard near the 1000 block of Westward Ho Road

As you can see, it can be amusing. There is actually a book that was written about the blotter. It’s a good read that I highly recommend.

I feel very fortunate to live in a community with relatively low crime and whose police department is 100% there to serve and protect. It’s one of the many things I value in my community.

My best to you,

Dianne

EcoHome LO

The City of Lake Oswego is starting a brand new program to help residents learn to live a more sustainable life by reducing their carbon footprint, engaging as good citizens, and recycling. At www.lakeoswego.city/ecohomelo you can sign up to partcipate and learn details of the program.

The program is administered on line. You’ll find check lists that address:

Reduce Reuse and Recycle

Energy Conservation

Water Conservation

Transportation

Social Equity

Ecological Conservation

Civic Engagement

Emergency Preparedness

Construction & Renovation

Apartments and Rental Housing

& Encouraging Others to Participate

Upon accomplishng a preset number of goals, the house will be awarded a lawn sign that states that it is an EcoHome.

I suspect that we will start to see these signs popping up in our neighborhoods, and now you know what they are all about. I also think it’s a terrific program because of what it encourages, but also because it is so comprehensive.

As always, thanks for reading the blotter,

Dianne

Trends from the 2021 Street of Dreams

As you saw from last week’s post that Linda wrote, she and I attended the Street of Dreams. Running until August 22nd, it is currently happening in Happy Valley on the East side of the metro area.

When I go through the street of dreams, I like to look for trends. What we see at the Street of Dreams, we also start to see in new construction and in remodeling.

This year’s event was entirely different because they have two locations. On location has million dollar homes and high-end finishes. The other location has homes that are $500,000 to the low $600’s. The trends I am going to talk about here are from the more expensive houses.

Beamed ceilings

I’ve always liked the look of beamed ceilings. They just make a house feel more substantial. I did find my self questioning how structural they actually are. Or if they are simply decorative. In any case, I like this trend.

Outdoor living areas

The outdoor living areas in the 3 expensive houses are just gorgeous. I feel like every home, even condos and apartments, should have nice outdoor spaces to relax and socialize. All of the areas on these homes had fireplaces, plenty of room for seating, and usually kitchen equipment like BBQs, sinks, and refrigerators. They are lovely.

Lots of gray and white

The gray is a deep, dark, gun-metal shade. It was painted over entire rooms, used for kitchen cabinets, and for built-ins. It’s a classic shade. It goes well with pops of color of pretty much any shade that you like, but it is mostly paired with white. I feel like this is a color that you could live with and enjoy for many, many years. While being a trend, it’s a timeless one.

Chunky light fixtures

The last Street of Dreams I attended, in 2019, the light fixtures were also a stand out. At that event they seemed very stream-lined and modern looking. At this year’s event, they’re just the opposite. I’m not so sure I like this trend. Frankly, the fixture posted here looks like a fire hazard.

The housing village

I actually think that this was my favorite part of the show. Made with at least 2, and possibly 3, shipping containers, it just looks like a brilliant solution for our housing shortage. The main container has a very nice bathroom, kitchen, dining area, and small living room. This structure also had 2 bedrooms. Then a second structure, that is clearly a full shipping container, had 3 bedrooms, each with it’s own entrance. Having your own bedroom/living space allows some autonomy. I don’t know the cost of contruction, but I imagine it’s substantially less than traditional construction. Brilliant.

Pleasant Valley Village

The 3 houses featured at the second location are much more affordable. Priced in the 500 and 600 thousand range, these houses will sell quickly. I really like the idea of having the two price ranges. It is the Street of Dreams, and for nearly everyone, the dream is of owning a home. While the expensive homes are fun to look at, they are way outside of most people’s budgets. So having some affordable homes is a great idea. Having said that, I do wish there had been more than one builder represented. The 3 houses that are on the tour are all built by Holt Homes. They are essentially the model homes for a new subdivision. It felt a bit like just one huge advertisement for this builder.

I hope you have the ability to check out this year’s street of dreams. For more information, click here.

As always, thank you for reading The Blotter.

Dianne

Someone’s Got to Do It!

Monday, August 9th is Realtor Day at the Street of Dreams. Dianne and I decided to get a jump on everything and visited a day early. I know she wants to do a post on trends, so I won’t share the most fun pictures with you, but here we are as real human Realtors doing the hard investigative work for YOU!

Here is Dianne in very good hands (sorry…couldn’t resist : )

Again… we work hard for you.

Dianne hated this bathroom ; )

AND we’re learning that (as we wipe our brows) we really need to avail ourselves of the help that has become so common in all of our lives. (So bougie…)

Lastly, with all that energy we save by not having to mow our lawns, we can now relax with a few of our best moves on the court.

Seriously, it was a lovely day. Dianne and I get to see a lot of homes obviously, but its always a treat to see the latest trends in layout, materials, fixtures & colors. As I mentioned, Dianne will be covering these trends, so I’ll let her share the meaty stuff, but I will say that it is very worth your while this year. Here is a link to get your ticket! You may visit 10AM-9PM through August 22nd. They’re closed Mondays & Tuesdays. CLICK HERE

Middle Housing

A law was passed by the State of Oregon in 2019 that is going to have a huge impact on neighborhoods throughout the state. House Bill 2001 pretty much out lawed single-family-residential housing. The law applies to any town with a population of more than 10,000 people, thus, it very much affects Lake Oswego.

What this law does is mandate that neighborhoods that currently have single family housing must allow the construction of duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, cottage clusters and accessory dwelling units.

There is an affordable housing crisis in our state and I completely understand the logic behind this law. When I look for the positive outcomes it will create, I think about people who want to build a dwelling for aging parents. I think of people who would benefit from some rental income. I think of people who need a place to live and simply can not afford the current rents or are not in a poslition to buy. This law will have quite a few positive benefits.

But I also think about what our neighborhoods currentlly look like. How will I feel if a duplex gets built next door? I hope I’ll feel ok, but, being honest, I’m just not sure. This law will have to come into affect and play out before I’ll know how I truly feel.

The City of Lake Oswego is approaching this change in a two phase process. The first phase has been completed. The city reveiwed current neighborhood plans and development codes, created and received results of a community-wide survey, and met with neighborhood association chairs to understand neighborhood characteristics and what communities value most.

The second phase is happening now. The city is exploring options for potential code changes and getting advice from a committee that has been formed. This committee was appointed by the city council and is called the Middle Housing Code Advisory Committee. They are meeting between now and the end of September. After they provide advice to the city council, the city will seek further feedback from neighborhood associaitons and the broader community.

For more information visit www.lakeoswego.city/planning or contact Eric Olson, Senior Planner, at eolson@lakeoswego.city or 503-697-6524.

There’s nothing so certain as change, that’s for sure.

Dianne

Plant Sale

I’m reversing the order of my blog posts this week. Usually the market activity report is posted first and then an editorial. However, this week I want you to have a heads up about a great even this Saturday, with time to get it onto your calendar.

This is the 97th year for the Lake Grove Garden Club’s annual sale. It will be this Saturday, the 19th of June, from 9 to noon, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church on Quarry Rd.

A wide variety of plants and garden objects will be offered, most at prices significantly less than you would find at garden stores. This is possible because the plants have been raised and cultivated by members of the club.

Proceeds go to community projects to beautify the neighborhoods, to protect heritage plants, and to a scholarship to support a student who attends Clackamas Community College in the horticulture program. Very worthwhile!

For me gardening is a salve to my soul. Digging in the dirt really is so calming, peaceful, and rewarding. I think it’s also cheaper than therapy!

Dianne

This Week in Lake Oswego

Here are my picks for things to do this week either online or in person:

Mon, June 14, 2021 – 8:00AM-9:00PMStory Line Recordings~ Listen to poetry and short stories anytime! dial 503-636-7628 and press 6 More Info:  CLICK HERE

Tues, June 15, 2021 – 4:00-5:00PMCook the Books! ~ Meet online every Tuesday with Librarians Shannon & Alicia to eat and talk about food & recipes.- More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Wed, June 16, 2021 – 4:00-6:00PMParks Board Meeting~ This meeting has been scheduled since COVID via Webex. Want input on our treasured parks & recreation facilities & activities & how we move forward? Join in!- More Info & Registration + Agenda Links:  CLICK HERE

Thurs, June 17, 2021 – 7:00-8:30PMTrivia Night!!!~ Join your hosts, Chris and Carissa for some fun together online. Its around 90 minutes & its like pub trivia…but you’re not in a pub! Bring your own drinks & snacks & enjoy.- More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Fri, June 18, 2021 – This is a first!! There are NO events scheduled in Lake Oswego. So… the weather should be awesome. Take a stroll in George Rogers Park, or at Luscher Farm or along the trails in Tryon…or sit & have a picnic at the waterfront or Millennium Plaza Park : )

Sat, June 19, 2021 – 8:30AM-1:30PMLake Oswego Farmers Market –  Peruse the cream of the crop in every category of local lusciousness at Millennium Plaza Park- More Info :  CLICK HERE

Sun, June 20, 2021 – All DayFathers Day!~ Get out there and do something with your Dad, or the Dad (or closest thing to one) in your Life. Preferably something they like to do ; ) If your Dad is gone, I’ll join you in remembering him with Love and doing something that I (you) know he would enjoy.

The Gnomes are Back!

I had a great walk this morning that began and ended at Foothills Park. As I started out I came across this sign.

The sign itself is pretty informative. As it explains, the City of LO is putting 3 gnomes, Blossom, Greenie, and Oak, into 3 different parks. They will be moved each month between April and October to 3 new parks. The idea is to find them every month in order to explore the 21 Natural areas that the City maintains.

When you find a gnome, take a selfie and post it to social media using the hashtag #LOparksgnomes. Each time you post a selfie your name will be put into a drawing. In October a lucky winner will receive their very own gnome.

Finding the gnomes is a great incentive to get out and enjoy the fresh air, which is certainly one purpose for the gnomes. Another great purpose for this activity is to educate the citizens of Lake Oswego about the Stewardship Program that is run by the City Parks and Recreation Department. The Stewardship Program organizes events for volunteers to help with the cleaning and maintenance of the natural areas. Its a fun way to give back to the community, and to meet other great citizens.

In May the gnomes can be found in these 3 natural areas: Lamont Springs, Bryant Woods, and Woodmont. For a map of the gnomes parks for the month, and more information about the Stewardship Program, click here.

Happy gnome hunting!

Dianne

This Week in Lake Oswego

Spring is in the air, people are starting to peek out from their safe spaces & Lake Oswego is as beautiful as ever. Here are my picks for things to do this week either online or in person:

Mon, May3rd, 2021 – 4:30-5:30PMYouth Mountain Biking Series 1 ~ Meet at Luscher Farm/The Quarry at East Waluga Park to learn shifting, body position, pedal position, climbing, descending, cornering and managing trail obstacles! Mondays till 5/24- More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Tues, May4th, 2021 – 4:00-5:00PM –Cook the Books ~ Meet online every Tuesday with Librarians Shannon & Alicia to eat and talk about food & recipes. – More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Wed, May5th, 2021 – 6:00-8:00PM –Pickelball Clinic & Play (18yrs+)~ Learn the basics and then join in with the fastest growing sport in America! Wednesdays till 5/26 at George Rogers Park – More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Thurs, May6th, 2021 – 7:00-8:30PM –Public Library Trivia Night! ~ Its like “Pub Trivia” but shorter…and you’re not in a pub! Plus there are Powell’s Gift Cards involved… Thursdays online- More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Fri, May7th, 2021 – 6:30-9:30PM –Samurai in the Oregon Sky with Ilana Sol! ~ Join the Filmmaker as she presents her film & joins for post-viewing questions & answers. – Her first film ON PAPER WINGS won 7 awards and was included in an episode of NPR’s Radiolab. SAMURAI IN THE OREGON SKY is her second film~ In 1942, Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita catapulted his seaplane off of a submarine, flew over the Oregon coast, and became the only pilot to bomb the U.S. mainland during WWII.  He never dreamed he would one day be invited back to the region, where he would begin a lifelong friendship with the people of a small Oregon town.  SAMURAI IN THE OREGON SKY chronicles how Mr. Fujita came to refer to his former target as his “second home.” – More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Sat, May8th, 2021 – 8:30AM-1:30PM –Lake Oswego Farmers Market! ~ Millennium Park Plaza is the place to be every Saturday as Artisans and Farmers share their wares in a COVID-safe & festive environment. There are also online ordering options available.- For More Info & Safety Protocols:  CLICK HERE

Sun, May9th, 2021 – 11:00-12:00PM –A Bookish Affair!~ Join fellow aficionados of Romance & Happily-Ever-After genres to discuss love stories of all kinds. This week covering The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan –  More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Tree City USA

This year is the 32nd year that Lake Oswego has maintained the designation of “Tree City USA”. To have this designation a city must maintain four standards: have a Tree Board that brings together Parks, Recreation, and a Natural Resources Advisory Board; have a tree ordinance; spend a minimum of $2 per capita on urban forest management; and proclaim and celebrate Arbor Day annually.

Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, and April is Arbor Month. There are numerous ways that Lake Oswego is celebrating.

Tree Pruning Workshop

April 24th, 10am to 12pm, at the Pavilion at Foothills Park. Due to covid, attendance is limited and pre-registration is required. Pruning and maintaining trees is crucial, not just for the health of the tree, but truly for the safety of the home. Our big ice storm last month was a perfect example. Lake Oswego has lots and lots of trees. That ice storm took down so many limbs and many of those limbs were distructive to property, not to mention the power outages. At my home, we had an arborist clean up our trees about 5 years ago. I have 5 huge trees on my property. In the ice storm, not one limb came down. Not one. To register for this workshop telephone 503-635-0290 or email planning@lakeoswego.city. The class is free

Lake Grove Swim Park

Gnomes in Nature

Gnomes are being hidden at three parks: Foothills, River Run, and Stevens Meadows. The gnomes have names: Blossom, Greenie, and Oak. Between now and October get out to enjoy the parks and when you find a gnome, take your picture with the gnome and post it to social media using the hashtag #LOparksgnomes. Each time you post this hashtag you will be entered into a contest to win your very own gnome. Did you know that LO has over 460 acres of natural park areas? Visit lo-stewardship.org for park locations, gnome clues, and to learn more about each gnome.

Heritage Trees

Lake Oswego has annually been designating trees as “Heritage Trees” for 40 years. They are magnificent and each year when a tree is designated I like to go and see it. Most are on private property, so viewing them is done from the street, but wow, they are gorgeous. This years tree is a 55′ tall Japanese Zelkova that measures 6′ 10″ in circumference and has a crown with a 60′ spread. It is located at 3209 Lake Grove Blvd. To see a complete list of the Heritage Trees and where they are located, visit lakeoswego.city/planning/heritage-tree-program.

I honestly think that people move to Oregon, not just Lake Oswego, because they love the natural beauty and being in the outdoors. We’re now moving into the time of year when going outside is such a pleasure! I’m proud that my city, Lake Oswego, knows this and values its natural resources. Three cheers for LO and Tree City USA!

Dianne