City and School District are at odds on Oppenlander appraisal …

We need your help to get them to negotiate on good faith

It’s been a couple of fairly quiet months since we last updated you – but the activities of the past 6 days have been a whirlwind of meetings. We did not want to blast out an update with every action and reaction … but now we need your help to get the the City and School District to adjust the sales agreement in an equitable manner to formalize the sale of Oppenlander Fields to the City as an active park in perpetuity for the benefit of families, adults, and children – both today and into the future.

It will only take 30 seconds and just 3 clicks generate and send an email … We need your help NOW!

If this link does not work (some email programs might not allow the auto creation of emails) … please copy the email text below into a new email and send it to both and


Dear Mayor Walters, School Board Chair King, Superintendent Ludwig, West Linn City Council, and WLWV School Board,

I am a constituent and taxpayer of both the City and School District, i.e. both organizations are fiscally responsible to me.  This email serves as notice of the following:

* I want both good schools and a vibrant city, and realize this requires fiscal support, prudence, and responsibility. My desire is both organizations continue their prudence while refocusing their efforts to work in the best interest of the community.

* I desire a win-win negotiation of sales price and passage of this bond measure for the benefit of the children and adults of today and the future. I do not believe there is or has to be a loser in this transaction.

* I do not support removing the park restriction – we want Oppenlander to remain an activity based park just as it has been for over 4 decades. 

* I believe the $120,000 appraisal was prepared to the terms of the Sales Agreement and is therefore valid – but it is too low.

* I also believe the District’s 2021 $6.5M appraisal was misleading as it was conveyed as a park-restricted discount to market value when it was shared with Friends of Oppenlander, the City and its residents. Last week and again this week we were told $6.5M is a full unrestricted market value – that is not a fair and reasonable valuation for this park-restricted transaction between custodians of our land.

* I support the Friends of Oppenlander proposal to immediately amend the Sales Agreement by replacing Section 1 (the Appraisal Process to establish a sales price) with a fixed $3.31M Sales Price. This value is the average of the two current appraisals, reflects a per acre price comparable to the fairly recent sale/exchange of Sunset Park/Parker Road between the City and School District, and reflects a citizen-centric park-restricted transfer price of Oppenlander from one government agency to another as requested by the citizens and the School District. This citizen-centric price helps the School District to continue to grow their land bank by providing a 162x ROI profit of over $3M, and respects the pocketbooks of the citizens, who are on both sides of this deal.

* In the absence of a mutually agreed upon modification to the Sales Agreement, I insist the City honor and follow the terms of the current sales agreement by allocating the fixed amount of $120,000 on the May 2022 Bond Measure to the purchase of Oppenlander Fields.

* I want the School District and the City to negotiate promptly in good faith so the ballot measure can be filed by the 2/25 deadline. I do not support extending the negotiating deadline and thereby deferring the bond measure to the fall. Dragging this negotiation out will not give us any more information than we have right now and will only make this messier – witness the downward spiral of the last few City and School Board meetings.

I believe this compromise will be widely supported by my neighbors and the city’s voters. Passage will be a formal acknowledgement the City and the School District acted appropriately and in the best interest of the community they mutually serve. 

Thank You!


The City took the results from their November survey and have written the framework for the bond measure to purchase Oppenlander Fields.

The City and District signed a letter of intent last summer and formalized a Purchase and Sales Agreement on 1/12/22.  

Both parties agreed to an appraiser and that appraisal has come back. The School District has rejected that appraisal.

The School District is now backtracking on their request and their written request that Oppenlander Fields remain a park in perpetuity, and instead is now seeking to maximize their revenue from the sale of this property, which likely means the property would be developed with 65 or more homes – all of which will be seeking access to a diminishing park inventory for their families.

The City Council is meeting this Monday to make their final decision on how to proceed with Oppenlander. Our inputs will impact them!

The bond measure has to be filed in just over two weeks (2/25) to be on the May ballot and to comply with the timing in the sales agreement.


The School District indicated last summer in writing their desire that Oppenlander remain a park. The City agreed Oppenlander would carry this restriction under Chapter XI of the West Linn City Charter, ensuring it is not used for other purposes without voter approval.

The January 2022 appraisal came in at $120,000 reflecting the restriction of Oppenlander being perpetually restricted to be used as a park. 

Last spring the School District shared with Friends of Oppenlander and the City a $6.5M appraisal (dated April 2021) they conveyed was a discount to market price based on Oppenlander being restricted as a park.

The School District has rejected the most recent $120k appraisal and is awaiting the city’s response.

The School District made an offer to the City to remove the park-restriction in return for agreeing on a $6.5M purchase price.

Friends of Oppenlander is trying to facilitate a compromise.


  • Both the City and the School District want to be fiscally responsible.  Friends of Oppenlander has communicated to both organizations that they serve the same constituents (us!), and that Oppenlander, no matter who is the custodian, has been paid for, and is owned by, the citizens.  
  • Friends of Oppenlander believes the $120,000 appraisal process was legally correct and complied with the terms of the sales agreement, however, the $120k value ($12k/acre) is unreasonably low.  
  • Based on comments made by the School District last week and again this week, Friends of Oppenlander no longer supports the $6.5M appraisal as it was conveyed as a discount to market price reflecting a favorable sales price to the City with a park restriction and out of respect for the citizens not having to buy “our” property all over again.
  • Timing is critical.  The City has a fixed 2/25 deadline to file the May bond measure. In the absence of a revised sales agreement or compromise sales price they have no choice but to put $120k in the bond measure for the land purchase to be in compliance with the sales agreement. Negotiation of a price after the bond measure has been filed is next to impossible as the bond measure cannot be adjusted or retracted. This would undoubtedly result in the City and School District heading to court to unwind the documents.
  • However, we do not feel allowing more negotiation time will be productive. The City and School District already have all of the information they are likely to gather with more time. We believe allowing more time will simply cause the parties to become further entrenched in their current positions.  
  • If the City offers a more reasonable $3.31M price they will have our full support, and they will be acting in good faith to bring this sale to close for the benefit of the community.  Certainly the School District would like, and has asked for an even higher offer, but $3.31M is consistent with the price per acre paid during the fairly recent Sunset Park/Parker Road transaction between the City and the District – a park-valued transaction. 
  • There is not enough time to perform another appraisal, hence we suggest the introduction of the Sunset Park/Parker Road comparable as both a reasonable and actual transaction between the two parties as a valid comparable of similar properties and a good benchmark for a fair compromise.
  • Offering $6.5M is simply not fair to the citizens. It is a full market value appraisal not a park-restricted appraisal, and does not respect that the citizens are on both sides of this transaction. $3.31M nets the School District a very healthy profit of over $3M on their $40k investment they can reinvest in their land bank for future school sites.
  • Our yes votes in May will assure both the City and the School District that they are being responsive to their fiduciary duties and the desires of their shared community. 

Please continue sharing and asking your friends and neighbors to come alongside the 2502 of your neighbors who have already signed at

1 thought on “City and School District are at odds on Oppenlander Appraisal – We need your help to get them to negotiate on good faith”

  1. I watch kids playing baseball, running in the fields, frisbe games, adults exercising their dogs , people just visiting while walking and kids playing in the snow. This property is used year round by our citizens of all ages.
    Watching the activity at Oppenlander from my home brings me great joy and enhances many lives. We desperately need to keep it a park .

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