Why the Property Blotter?

fish-sculpture.jpgYes, our blog has an unusual name. It’s based upon a local phenomenon that we’d like to help you to understand.

Lake Oswego is a small town and has a very small town personality. There is a local newspaper that is widely read called the Lake Oswego Review.

Being a small town, this paper carries lots of local stories. It is great fun to see photos of and to read articles about people and places that you know. There are weekly stories about schools, restaurants, local politics, special people, and just a nice wide variety of community news. If you subscribe to the paper, it is delivered by mail every Thursday.

There is one column in the paper each Thursday that is particularly interesting and that is the Blotter. It is a published run down of all police activity for the preceding week. And we do mean ALL activity. The Lake Oswego police department has a 100% response policy. That means that if you call 911 to get police, you will get a patrol car responding to your home. One of the things that Lake Oswego DOES NOT have is a reputation for crime. There just simply isn’t much of it. So the Blotter tends to have numerous accounts of cats in trees, minor disturbances, and domestic confusion. It is written with a certain wry wit that is both amusing and entertaining. Here are some actual prior entries:

  • A resident of Oswego Pointe reported the mysterious draining of his fish tank. He found no puddle, no signs of forced entry, and his fish scattered around the bottom of the tank.
  • A resident of the Parkridge I apartments on Greenridge Drive says he can’t go on to his back porch for fear of being attacked by a vicious cat.
  • An “unknown hairy thing” found stuffed in a trash can at New Waluga Park and described as “heavy” was determined to be a stuffed animal.

As you can see, this is a great source of amusement and entertainment. It is a truly local phenomenon. And taken to its full blossom, a book was inspired by the Blotter. Written by Elisa Minor Rust, “The Prisoner Pear” was published in 2005.

So when the time came to name our blog, we found that the idea of the Blotter had a local appeal and somewhat defined what we are trying to achieve. We want the Property Blotter to be locally unique, reflective of what is going on in our community, and, hopefully, somewhat entertaining.

Radon, should I be concerned?

view of 1st StreetYes, you should be concerned. Radon is real and it does exist in Lake Oswego.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is radioactive and can seep into our homes from the ground. While Lake Oswego is shown on radon maps as being an area of low to moderate risk, that does not mean that it does not occur in homes in Lake Oswego. Nationally, radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers claiming 20,000 lives annually.

How do you know if a home has radon? You get it tested. Testing can be done personally or professionally. Radon test kits are commonly sold in hardware and home improvement stores. The kits include a cannister that is placed in a house for several days and then mailed in a postage paid envelope to a laboratory. Test results come back within days. As a buyer of a home, you should consider including radon testing as part of your home inspection process and make the purchase of your new home contingent on satisfactory radon test results. Be sure to allow about 2 weeks for the test results to be completed.

What if the house comes back having too much radon? What do you do then? If you are living in a home with elevated levels of radon, or if you want to buy a home with elevated levels of radon, don’t panic. Radon can be remedied. Because it seeps into homes from the ground, simply filling in gaps from crawlspaces and making the bottom level of a home less exposed to air from the ground may be sufficient. If greater measures are needed, it is usually in the form of ventilation. An automatic fan system can be put into a crawlspace to circulate air out of the crawlspace so that it does not enter the home. After taking measures to lower the radon levels, re-test the house regularly to make certain that the radon levels remain low.

In my professional experience, radon was more likely to be found in houses built onto hillsides that had very rocky soil. I have been involved in the sale of two homes in Lake Oswego that had elevated levels of radon, one was in First Addition and one was in Village on the Lake. Both homes were easily remedied by means that were affordable.

Don’t be afraid of radon, but do be smart about it. When buying your new home, get it tested. You will sleep better at night knowing that you and your family are safe and not being exposed to radon.

Information for this posting was from the Environmental Protection Agency and can be found at www.epa.gov

Market Activity – March 10-16, 2008

At first glance, it might appear that new listings are really piling up in the Lake Oswego real estate market. The reality, for this week anyway, is that many of the high-end properties are being relisted, sometimes with new prices, sometimes not. (Be sure to ask your agent!)

For the week, there were 34 ‘new’ listings, 11 homes under contract, and 6 closed sales.

Here are the Lake Oswego real estate market statistics for the week March 10 through March 16 (look to the bottom for definitions and research criteria):

New Listings

Address List Price Tot Beds Tot Baths Tot Sq Ft Prop Type List Date
86 KINGSGATE RD
$184,000
2
2
840
CONDO
3/9
5803 SW MCEWAN RD
$335,000
4
2
1,485
DETACHD
3/13
1400 PARRISH ST
$339,000
3
2.1
1,880
CONDO
3/14
5966 FROST LN
$399,900
4
2.1
2,036
DETACHD
3/14
16015 SW WALUGA DR
$399,900
4
2
2,010
DETACHD
3/11
16026 SW PARKER RD
$449,900
3
1
1,569
DETACHD
3/13
13050 BOONES FERRY RD
$469,900
3
2.1
2,320
DETACHD
3/9
4750 SW UPPER DR
$469,900
4
3
2,692
DETACHD
3/10
36 NORTHVIEW CT
$579,000
3
3.1
2,573
ATTACHD
3/14
13448 AUBURN CT
$579,900
3
2.1
2,535
ATTACHD
3/11
10 BUCKINGHAM TER
$649,000
4
3
3,765
DETACHD
3/9
17878 HILLSIDE DR
$649,950
5
3
3,449
DETACHD
3/13
1866 KILKENNY DR
$650,000
4
3.1
3,600
DETACHD
3/9
2525 DELLWOOD DR
$674,900
5
3
2,828
DETACHD
3/14
14798 UPLANDS DR
$695,000
4
3
2,641
DETACHD
3/13
4031 OLD GATE RD
$769,900
4
4
3,704
DETACHD
3/9
605 SW COUNTRY CLUB RD
$775,000
4
2.1
3,422
DETACHD
3/13
3211 ALBER SPRING CT
$825,000
4
2.1
2,993
DETACHD
3/9
17433 BROOKHURST DR
$925,000
5
4.1
4,002
DETACHD
3/13
18036 SKYLAND CIR
$925,000
3
2.1
3,159
DETACHD
3/9
716 MCVEY AVE
$994,998
3
2
2,348
DETACHD
3/9
3030 WESTVIEW CT
$999,500
4
2.1
3,400
DETACHD
3/13
17424 BRYANT RD
$1,100,000
4
3.1
3,278
DETACHD
3/15
19019 BRYANT RD
$1,149,000
4
3.1
3,200
DETACHD
3/14
17760 LAKE HAVEN DR
$1,169,000
4
2.1
2,051
DETACHD
3/9
721 7TH ST
$1,289,000
4
3.1
4,096
DETACHD
3/15
720 6TH ST
$1,300,000
4
3.1
4,217
DETACHD
3/13
785 7TH ST
$1,350,000
4
3.1
4,043
DETACHD
3/15
1924 CHERYL CT
$1,499,500
4
4.2
5,204
DETACHD
3/10
17367 BERGIS FARM DR
$1,675,000
5
3.2
5,477
DETACHD
3/13
12210 SW ORCHARD HILL RD
$1,695,000
4
3.2
4,640
DETACHD
3/12
1915 SW CHILDS RD
$2,199,000
5
5.2
5,689
DETACHD
3/13
651 IRON MOUNTAIN BLVD
$2,375,000
5
4.1
5,776
DETACHD
3/13
13083 SW KNAUS RD
$3,295,000
5
4.1
6,435
DETACHD
3/14

Pending Sales

Address List Price Tot Beds Tot Baths Tot Sq Ft Prop Type DOM
4000 CARMAN DR
$144,900
1
1
836
CONDO
61
16200 PACIFIC HWY
$398,850
2
2
1,200
CONDO
633
16250 Pacific Hwy (Hwy 43)
$429,850
2
2
1,200
CONDO
637
16200 Pacific HWY
$448,850
2
2
1,200
CONDO
636
16200 Pacific HWY
$448,850
2
2
1,208
CONDO
36
4958 GALEN ST
$449,900
3
2.1
2,190
DETACHD
361
5322 ROSALIA WAY
$799,000
4
2.1
3,767
DETACHD
4
5497 Langford LN
$809,000
4
2.1
3,341
DETACHD
18720 WESTVIEW DR
$878,888
4
3
3,244
DETACHD
8
18026 SKYLAND CIR
$1,499,900
5
3.1
4,086
DETACHD
68
18284 MEADOWLARK LN
$1,559,000
4
4.2
5,648
DETACHD
15

Sold Properties

Address Sale Price Tot Beds Tot Baths Tot Sq Ft Prop Type DOM
5032 SW CENTERWOOD ST
$373,000
3
2
1,672
DETACHD
201
4722 AMHERST CT
$465,000
3
2.1
2,773
ATTACHD
181
1902 WOODLAND TER
$520,000
3
3
2,138
DETACHD
44
4333 ORCHARD WAY
$546,000
4
2.1
2,897
DETACHD
49
15261 CANDLEWOOD CT
$590,000
4
2.1
2,893
DETACHD
301
5708 SUNCREEK DR
$675,000
4
2.1
2,769
DETACHD
164

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer.

Lake Oswego Open Houses – March 15-16, 2008

Here’s another Friday edition of the PropertyBlotter’s Open Houses in Lake Oswego feature.

Please note, dates and times are subject to change without notice. The list below may not contain ALL open houses in the city, but represent those that agents have publicized in the multiple listing service as of Friday afternoon.

If you’re venturing out to view some property this weekend and have yet to choose a buyer’s agent, be sure to contact one of us to accompany you and provide some Lake Oswego real estate perspective.

Date Time Address List Price Bdrms Baths Total SF
3/16/08 1- 4 pm 4458 THUNDER VISTA LN
$339,500
2
2.1
2,200
3/16/08 1-4pm 6301 ALYSSA TER
$349,900
3
2.1
1,546
3/16/08 12 – 3 pm 25 Churchill Downs
$439,500
4
3
2,195
3/16/08 1-3pm 17870 DEERBRUSH AVE
$449,900
3
2.1
1,912
3/16/08 1-4pm 14433 CAMDEN LN
$480,000
3
3
2,023
3/16/08 2 – 4 pm 13340 AUBURN CT
$559,900
3
2.1
2,451
3/16/08 1-3pm 1091 BICKNER ST
$625,000
4
2
2,510
3/16/08 1-3PM 56 SPINOSA
$649,900
5
3.1
3,808
3/16/08 0 to 4 pm 5624 SOUTHWOOD DR
$695,000
4
3
3,120
3/16/08 1 to 4 pm 15815 ALLISON PL
$759,000
4
2.1
3,534
3/16/08 10:00 – 1:00 4031 OLD GATE RD
$769,900
4
4
3,704
3/16/08 1 to 4 pm 435 8TH ST
$799,000
4
3.1
2,505
3/16/08 12:00-4:00 3211 ALBER SPRING CT
$825,000
4
2.1
2,993
3/16/08 2:00-4:00 2188 GLENMORRIE LN
$850,000
5
3
3,200
3/16/08 1pm – 3pm 17760 LAKE HAVEN DR
$1,169,000
4
2.1
2,051
3/16/08 12:30 – 3 622 OAK MEADOW DR
$1,325,000
4
3.1
4,168
3/16/08 12:30 – 3 17464 RIDGEVIEW LN
$1,348,950
4
3.1
4,407
3/16/08 2 – 4 pm 1501 COUNTRY CLUB RD
$1,425,000
4
4
4,687
3/16/08 12:30 – 3 17433 RIDGEVIEW LN
$1,495,000
4
4.1
4,659

Featured Home – 1448 Greentree Circle

This week, we’re pleased to present a gleaming traditional with modern updates in Lake Oswego’s Palisades neighborhood.

1448 Greentree Circle, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
ML# 8011166 | Map
4+ bedrooms, 2-1/2 bathrooms, 2,587 sq. ft.
Listed at $588,000

Here’s a gorgeous, fully remodeled traditional with an unbeatable location and peaceful wooded views. Light, airy rooms and gleaming new fir floors await you. The kitchen features slate-toned countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Upstairs: Modern-accented master with beautifully appointed bath/dressing features, plus 3 additional bedrooms, remodeled bath with earthen tilework and contemporary accents.

Downstairs: Office or bonus room with pocket door, laundry room, ½ Bath, living and family rooms, an elegant dining room and 2 fireplaces

The exterior features a private deck and classic northwest landscaping.

Just blocks to Lakeridge High School, Palisades Elementary, golf course, & neighborhood pool (membership required) and only steps from local park!

For more information or to schedule a showing, please contact Linda Trotta at (503) 699-5824 or email.

Listing courtesy of Advanced Real Estate Services.

Trees in Lake Oswego

Trees in Lake OswegoIf Lake Oswego is anything, it is a place where quality of life is an essential part of decision-making and planning. People tend to move here to take advantage of the excellent school system, and to become involved in a tightly knit community of individuals who really want to safeguard a set of values that ensures the livability of the community.

If I had to take a stab at listing some values common to people living in Lake Oswego, I’d include: Safety for children and families, Excellence in education, Involvement of citizenry, Support for small businesses, and Beauty.

Yes, that’s right–Beauty.

This shows up in many ways, including the hanging flower baskets you see along main arterials, the sign codes that keep the view open and uncluttered, the cleanliness that is typical of the city in general, the chirping birds signaling that it’s safe to cross the street (yes, this also serves safety and aids the sight-impaired as well), and the trees… they seem to be everywhere! Yes, trees take precedence in many building and planning decisions as far as the City of Lake Oswego is concerned. Some consider this an annoyance, and some appreciate what the city is trying to accomplish.

According to the city’s website:

A tree removal permit is required for any tree that is five inches or more in diameter at four and a half feet from the ground, which measurement is known as Diameter at Breast Height (DBH). If you intend to remove a tree, one of six permits is required.

A Type I Permit is an over-the-counter permit for cutting up to two trees of 10 inches or less per calendar year as long as those trees do not fall into several categories including: A tree located within an area that has been placed on the Historic Landmark Designation List, a Heritage Tree, a tree located within the Willamette River Greenway overlay district, a tree located within 25 feet of Oswego Lake Special Setback, a tree located on property owned by the City of Lake Oswego or dedicated to the public, including parks, open space and public rights-of-way, or a tree located within a Resource Conservation (RC) or Resource Protection (RP) sensitive lands overlay district. A completed Tree Removal Application and a site plan are required with Type I permits. A Type II Permit applies to trees that do not qualify under the parameters set for Type I Permits, i.e. dead trees, hazard trees, Emergency Permits or Verification Permits. (Please call the city at 503-635-0270 for more information on permits.)

“Topping” trees is also illegal in Lake Oswego. The city warns that “it will make a tree more susceptible to crown and root rot, and weaken its strength and health.” Citizens are advised to remove ivy from trees as it is known to be a parasite that will kill a tree, and they are warned against stockpiling dirt, chemicals or construction debris at the base of any tree.

On a real estate note, if you are thinking of having any sewer line work done in Lake Oswego, please have your contractor check with the city first. Lake Oswego will send out an envoy to make sure that no tree roots will be disturbed in the process.

Granted, if you are living in Lake Oswego, and have a tree on your property that you believe should reside somewhere else (or not at all!), going through the city’s processes in order to gain approval for your plans can be an annoyance, and will definitely put a crimp in any timelines you had envisioned before realizing that this might be an issue. However, most will grudgingly agree that one of the things that makes living in Lake Oswego what it is, is the ever-presence of trees.

While the city talks about environmental deficits that would ensue if we did not have these rules in place including erosion, hotter temperatures in the summer, and less wildlife, I believe that the root of all this hubbub around trees is the common shared value of Beauty that those who live in this gentle place just outside the urban environment of Portland love so much. Mt. Hood is a stupendous view… but I will continue to enjoy it while leaning a little to the right off my deck… just to the other side of another beautiful view… that of luscious, green Lake Oswego trees.

The leaning is good exercise anyway!

Market Activity – March 3-9, 2008

Activity in the Lake Oswego real estate market continues at a brisk pace…well, new listings are brisk anyway.

For the week, there were 31 new listings, 11 homes under contract, and 5 closed sales.

Here are the Lake Oswego real estate market statistics for the week March 3 through March 9 (look to the bottom for definitions and research criteria):

New Listings

Address List Price Tot Beds Tot Baths Tot Sq Ft Prop Type List Date
45 EAGLE CREST DR
$189,000
2
2
1,046
CONDO
3/6
5225 JEAN RD
$209,900
2
2
1,100
CONDO
3/6
3836 BOTTICELLI ST
$215,000
2
2
1,055
CONDO
3/3
3680 SPRING LN
$219,900
2
2.1
1,152
CONDO
3/2
214 OSWEGO SMT
$259,900
2
2
1,506
ATTACHD
3/3
19 MOUNTAIN CIR
$329,000
2
2
1,364
ATTACHD
3/6
1400 PARRISH ST
$339,000
3
2.1
1,880
CONDO
3/3
4852 LAMONT WAY
$339,900
3
2
1,773
DETACHD
3/7
15446 STEPHANIE CT
$347,750
3
2.1
1,582
ATTACHD
3/8
18307 SW LONGFELLOW AVE
$374,900
3
2
1,457
DETACHD
3/5
14584 DORIS AVE
$399,900
3
2
1,500
DETACHD
3/3
17239 REBECCA LN
$414,900
4
2.1
1,970
DETACHD
3/2
25 Churchill Downs
$439,500
4
3
2,195
DETACHD
3/5
666 3RD ST
$494,950
3
1.1
1,759
DETACHD
3/2
14 PREAKNESS CT
$495,000
2
2.1
2,047
ATTACHD
3/7
13340 AUBURN CT
$559,900
3
2.1
2,451
ATTACHD
3/6
57 CONDOLEA TER
$565,000
2
2.1
2,172
CONDO
3/3
39 SPINOSA
$574,900
3
2.1
2,561
DETACHD
3/2
1162 LAKESHORE RD
$599,000
2
1.1
1,248
DETACHD
3/6
149 Del Prado
$599,900
4
3.1
3,808
DETACHD
3/5
12974 Knaus RD
$649,000
3
3.1
3,792
DETACHD
3/2
490 IRON MOUNTAIN BLVD
$649,000
2
2
2,246
DETACHD
3/6
12821 SIERRA VISTA DR
$685,900
5
3.1
3,610
DETACHD
3/5
691 7TH ST
$729,000
2
2
2,424
DETACHD
3/5
5642 LA MESA CT
$779,000
4
2.1
3,361
DETACHD
3/5
5501 RACHEL LN
$969,000
3
2.2
3,509
DETACHD
3/2
5513 RACHEL (Lot 2) LN
$989,000
3
2.1
3,149
DETACHD
3/6
13701 SW KNAUS RD
$1,235,000
4
4.1
5,730
DETACHD
3/7
771 SW COUNTRY CLUB RD
$1,250,000
5
2.1
4,410
DETACHD
3/5
2300 SW CHILDS RD
$1,400,000
4
2
3,183
DETACHD
3/4
1097 CHANDLER RD
$1,829,000
4
4.1
5,313
DETACHD
3/4

Pending Sales

Address List Price Tot Beds Tot Baths Tot Sq Ft Prop Type DOM
4640 LOWER DR
$169,000
2
1.1
1,170
CONDO
217
48 OSWEGO SMT
$189,900
2
2
1,140
CONDO
133
5275 OAKRIDGE RD
$349,900
3
2
1,267
DETACHD
4
1530 ASH ST
$395,000
3
2
1,887
DETACHD
11
3 TANGLEWOOD DR
$415,000
3
3
2,879
DETACHD
10
2400 PARK RD
$419,000
4
2.1
1,960
DETACHD
254
820 BOCA RATAN DR
$439,000
4
3.1
2,810
DETACHD
190
4200 UPPER DR
$450,000
3
1
1,371
DETACHD
192
19166 OLSON AVE
$465,000
4
3
2,996
DETACHD
140
785 9TH ST
$649,000
3
2.1
2,477
DETACHD
313
17364 BRYANT RD
$769,900
4
3
3,043
DETACHD
205

Sold Properties

Address Sale Price Tot Beds Tot Baths Tot Sq Ft Prop Type DOM
3930 LAKE GROVE AVE
$154,900
2
1
952
CONDO
3
534 S STATE ST
$190,000
1
1
829
CONDO
86
14590 WILMOT WAY
$400,000
3
2.1
1,929
DETACHD
2
13188 TWIN CREEK CT
$715,000
4
2.1
3,480
DETACHD
40
15647 VILLAGE DR
$995,000
4
2.1
2,940
DETACHD
56

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer.

Lake Oswego Open Houses – March 8-9, 2008

Fridays will be the day we provide another regular PropertyBlotter feature–the Open Houses in Lake Oswego for each weekend.

Please note, dates and times are subject to change without notice. The list below may not contain ALL open houses in the city, but represent those that agents have publicized in the multiple listing service as of Friday afternoon.

We’ll talk more about buyer agency in future posts at PropertyBlotter, but for now, if you’re looking for a dedicated guide to take you through these and other Lake Oswego properties, be sure to contact us.

So, get out there and see some real estate!

Date Time Address
List Price
Bdrms
Total Bath
Total SF
3/9/2008 1-4pm 668 MCVEY AVE
$249,000
2
1
836
3/9/2008 1:00 – 3:00 16 Aquinas ST
$334,900
3
2
1,569
3/9/2008 1-4pm 14433 CAMDEN LN
$480,000
3
3
2,023
3/9/2008 2:30-4:30 666 3RD ST
$494,950
3
1.1
1,759
3/9/2008 11-1pm 762 LAKE FOREST DR
$620,000
4
3
2,310
3/9/2008 1-4pm 5400 BAY CREEK DR
$625,000
3
2.1
2,856
3/9/2008 1 to 3 3254 DUNCAN DR
$649,000
4
3.1
3,997
3/9/2008 1-4pm 8 CAMELOT CT
$650,000
5
3
3,080
3/9/2008 1-4pm 15815 ALLISON PL
$759,000
4
2.1
3,534
3/9/2008 1-4PM 34 HILLSHIRE DR
$760,000
4
2.1
3,822
3/9/2008 12:00-2:00 569 7TH ST
$849,950
5
4
3,186
3/9/2008 1-4pm 4125 CASEY CT
$974,950
4
3.1
3,728
3/9/2008 1-3pm 1864 CAMPUS WAY
$997,900
5
4
4,142
3/9/2008 1-4pm 15446 BOONES WAY
$1,289,000
3
2.1
3,364
3/9/2008 12:30 – 3 622 OAK MEADOW DR
$1,325,000
4
3.1
4,168
3/9/2008 12:30 -3 17464 RIDGEVIEW LN
$1,348,950
4
3.1
4,407
3/9/2008 1pm to 3pm 567 10th ST
$1,350,000
4
3.1
4,470
3/9/2008 1-4pm 2300 SW CHILDS RD
$1,400,000
4
2
3,183
3/9/2008 2 – 4 pm 13322 LESLIE CT
$1,450,000
4
3.1
4,449
3/9/2008 12:30 -3 17433 RIDGEVIEW LN
$1,495,000
4
4.1
4,704

About Oswego Lake

Lake Oswego MarinaOswego Lake is a 405-acre lake around which the City of Lake Oswego has grown.

The natural lake is fed by the Tualatin River at the West end and spills over a dam, down into Oswego Creek and into the Willamette River at the East end. There is a natural lake that was originally about 150 feet deep with steep cliffs on the South side. Over time, the lake was made larger by damming its waters and by excavating canals. There are several canals with homes that have access to the main lake as well as two bays: West Bay at the West end and Lakewood Bay at the East end.

The lake is privately owned and managed by the Lake Oswego Corporation. It is a navigable lake with a private boat launch at the East end. Being privately owned and managed, use of the lake is strictly controlled. The right to use the lake is deeded through property ownership. Obviously, those who live on the lake have use of it. However, there is a one-time initiation fee of $5,000 to activate lake usage when waterfront property is purchased. In addition, most citizens of Lake Oswego do have use of the lake, and this is accommodated in two ways.

First, many homes that are not on the lake have deeded lake rights through lake easements. Put simply, years ago when there were lots for sale on the lake, the developer of a neighborhood could buy a lot and deed it to an entire neighborhood. These lots are called lake easements. All of them have membership associations who collect dues and maintain the easements. Most easements have boat slips, picnic facilities, canoe storage, and docks.

To use an easement, you must pay dues into the easement association. Upon paying dues, you will usually receive a key that allows you to open the gate at your easement. Use of boat slips at easements usually requires waiting for a slip to become available and can sometimes take several years. Properties with boating rights, but no available boat slips, can put boats in for day use through the Lake Oswego Corporation. In addition, you may be able to rent a boat slip at the small marina maintained by the Lake Oswego Corporation.

The second way to use the lake, even if you don’t have a waterfront home or a lake easement deeded with your house, is to go to the public swim parks. There are two of them, one at each end of the lake.  The swim park on the East end of the lake, 250 Ridgeway Rd, is operated by the City Parks and Recreation Department.  It is open to all residents of the City of Lake Oswego and is open July and August, noon to 6pm, daily.  There are life guards on duty and there is no charge for admission. Info on this park is easily found at the City Website.   At the other end of the lake is the Lake Grove Swim Park, 3900 Lakeview Blvd.  It is open June thru Labor Day.  It is operated by the Lake Oswego School District and is available to all households that are within the school district boundaries for the old Lake Grove School District.  This is the most confusing of the two swim parks as the boundaries no longer reflect school attendance area at the West end of the lake.  Newer neighborhoods on the West end, such as Westlake, didn’t exist during the time that the Lake Grove School District was active and so many newer neighborhoods do not have access to this swim park.  This swim park does not appear to have a website, but you can get information about whether or not your home is located to allow you to use the park by calling 503-635-0355 or 503-534-2000.  The first time you go one of the swim parks, bring identification and proof of residence and, if you are eligable,  you will be issued a membership card. The swim parks have swim areas that are restricted so that young children are contained and life guards are on duty. Swim lessons, snack shacks, volley ball, and picnicking are just some of the amenities.

Any vessel put into the lake must be registered with the Lake Oswego Corporation annually. This includes motor boats, sail boats, canoes, and even surf boards. The lake is patrolled by The Lake Corporation with hired security who confirm vessel registration, enforce speed limits, and see to the safety and well being of those who use the lake.

About every 5 to 10 years the water level of the lake is dropped by releasing water through the dam into the Willamette River. The lake does not completely empty, but it does drop quite a bit. This allows property owners along the edge of the lake to build and repair sea walls, docks, and boat houses. The draw-down of the lake is always done in the winter and lasts for several months before being refilled in time for warm weather use. The last draw-down of the lake occurred in 2006.

Lake Oswego: At A Glance

Here are a few facts about Lake Oswego to get you oriented:

Pronounced oss-WEE-go.

Located 10 miles south of Portland on the West side of the Willamette River.

Total land area is 11.3 square miles, of which 1.3 square miles is Oswego Lake.

Population as of the 2000 census is 35,278 people.

Mostly in Clackamas County, Lake Oswego also has small portions located in Multnomah County and Washington County.

Median per capita income is $42,166. Median household income is $71,597.

There are 14,769 households in Lake Oswego of which 32% have children under 18 years of age.

Age of population: 24.8% are under 18 years old; 6.1% are 18-24; 26.8% are 25-44; 31% are 45-64; 11.4% are 65 or older.

The City owns 573 acres of parks and open spaces that include:

  • 24 parks
  • 1 amphitheater
  • 1 swim center
  • 2 swim parks on the lake
  • 1 water-sports center on the Willamette River
  • 1 adult community center
  • 1 performing arts center
  • 1 public golf course
  • 1 in-door tennis center
  • 2 outdoor tennis courts
  • 5 picnic shelters
  • 1 community garden
  • 1 off-leash dog park

“Live where you play” is further enhanced by

  • The privately owned Oswego Country Club
  • The privately owned equestrian riding club

There are 25 recognized neighborhood associations: Oak Creek, Forest Highlands, First Addition, Westlake, Holly Orchard, Uplands, Country Club-Northshore, Evergreen, Foothills, Lake Forest, Waluga, Lake Grove, Lakeview Villas-Summit, Lakewood, Old Town, Bryant, Blue Heron, Westridge, Palisades, McVey-Southshore, Hallinan, Glenmorrie, Rosewood, and Mountain Park.

There are 23,061 registered voters.

There are 10 citizen advisory boards.

There are over 500 community volunteers.

There are 487 citizens trained for emergency community response.