Molalla’s scoff law contest: Idiot Ridge MX vers Molalla’s urban reserve

“...If DLCD staff is correct, this would require a substantial reworking of the city’s proposal… It had been our understanding that the city wanted the county to wait for an interpretation from LCDC on the OAR issue, so I was a little surprised at the article in the Molalla Pioneer, and your email to Scott Pemble of last week … will be scheduling hearings before the (county) planning commission and BCC. . .” From a 1-26-2011 letter written by Clackamas County Counsel Dan Chandler to Molalla’s “lawyer” Chris Crean, indicating that since Crean is talking out of both sides of his mouth, the County will call his bluff and schedule hearings post-haste on the legally indefensible urban reserves.

“Thomas said Friday he would continue to allow family and friends to use the track, despite Helm writing in his decision that it is “irrational and inconsistent” that the county initially allowed the track to be built for personal use in a timber zone without a land use permit.

If the county attempts to bar personal use of the track, Thomas said he would sue.

“I’ll ask for a jury trial,” he said. “I’ll drag everybody in court for the whole process from the planning department to code enforcement.” quote 1-29- 2011 Oregonlive about loser Michael Thomas’s threat to resume MX in clear violation of the County’s ruling.

It’s impossible to tell who is the biggest jackass these days in the scoff law planning race around Molalla. Currently it’s a contest between Potter/Crean/Atkins/Clarke promoting their suck the city funds dry, sure to fail urban reserve and the DENIED Idiot Ridge motocross track that Mr. Idiot Ridge claims he will keep using in violation of the County’s ruling.

It should be a fascinating summer to see which “team” can rack up the biggest legal bills while certainly losing their planning fight.

Molalla’s loser, whiny lawyer Crean, who has thoroughly porked the city for years, just poked the County in the eye one time too many. The County called his bluff and is going full steam ahead for hearings on the insane 2,400 acre urban reserve. I won’t bore you with the facts, since no one in Molalla, including most of the supposed “leaders”, has a clue about how totally indefensible the urban reserves really are (except, I bet in his heart of stone Crean really does know and isn’t telling, because then his path to his next Mercedes might be truncated!). In fact, most of the sad “leaders” still think there IS a comp plan under consideration!

Suffice to say that only a completely foolish city would enter formal County hearings and waste MORE PUBIC FUNDS under adverse circumstances like these.

Note to TEAM and the earnest people who actually want to move Molalla ahead, even if it takes baby steps: Molalla will look STUPID when the County comes back with the formal staff report on why the urban reserve proposal is GARBAGE. County has been kind to try to talk sense behind closed doors, to protect Molalla from looking STUPID in public – but big mouth Crean blew that path.

A big lesson should be learned from the outcome of the MX case because the hearings officer ruled EXACTLY as County staff recommended – so what part about Molalla’s plan had better conform to County’s recommendations BEFORE it goes to hearings don’t Molalla’s “leaders” understand? Pathetic Molalla plannin’ and loser Crean are no match for the professionals at County and State.  County and State play hardball – and they win! They won’t let any Molalla-style crap slip through the cracks!

There IS no comp plan: there is simply an indefensible map that is a land speculators wet dream. That’s ALL there is folks, and even the pathetic city “manager” admits that the city continues to spend money it doesn’t have to defend a clearly indefensible reserve because “some landowners spent too much to give up now”. Wow! That means that a city is spending city funds – PUBLIC MONEY – to help private speculators who live outside the city limits. I’d call that UNETHICAL AND CORRUPT – what would YOU CALL IT?

Get ready for a showdown on the planning deficit – approaching $400,000 and climbing by the day. There are two kinds of lawyers in the world: ethical lawyers who work hard to mitigate and find consensus to save money for the client and unethical, tell you anything you want to hear while they suck you dry so they can keep earning the big bucks no matter how bad your legal case is.

I’d say it is pretty clear, after 4+ years of failure and the current angry “let’s rumble” letter from County, what kind of legal non-talent Atkins/Potter/Clarke cling to: Crean is laughing all the way to HIS bank with no success at all and no end in sight except public humiliation at County hearings. It’s going to take public outcry to stop the abuse.

And speaking of public outcry to stop the abuse, we, as a rural community, can celebrate the progress made in stopping MX in south Molalla. But it is apparent, from the posted quote, that the MX promoter thinks he can buck County planning. I hope he has a pocketful of money he is prepared to waste, because, in spite of his ongoing claims, there was NEVER written permission for MX tracks on forestland. The County simply played the “enough rope then you’ll hang yourself” game. The clear path was:

Let the problem of MX and the expansion of use get so bad that the community joined together and got the violations so well documented that the County had to act.

The County backed Mr. Idiot Ridge into a permit corner by saying: either try to permit what you are doing or face violations and court cases.

Mr. Idiot Ridge gave it his best shot with the conditional use application for a MX “park”/campground.

The neighbors gave it a giant thumbs down. The County staff and then the hearings officer agreed: NO MX. The best part is that both the staff report AND the hearings officer report say that the tracks – installed without permits – don’t conform to land use zoning.

Now Mr. Idiot Ridge (as a County official told me it was likely he would) says he will try to go back to the old “friends and family” bogus events that forced him to try for permits. After all, the County has been there, done that with all kinds of DENIED bogus conditional use proposals in the past – and the track record on this violator is unfolding just as County experts said it would.

So, can anyone see the giant snare the County has now set for future “friends and family” MX abuses here? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that now there IS AN OFFICIAL PAPER TRAIL and the papers all say NO TO MX ON FORESTLAND SOUTH OF MOLALLA. And the paper trail said it doesn’t matter if it is “just friends and family” or commercial use: it is ILLEGAL either way!

It will be funny to see this unfold, since the Sheriff is livid, the County is livid and the neighbors will be livid at any hint of resumed MX “fun”. Next stop after any resumed MX”fun” is likely to be real court with escalating fees and/or goodbye expensive dirt bikes that ride around making common law nuisance noise. And as the County official said: the County knows how to win!

It’s a rock and hard place for sure for the MX “fans”. It was a frustrating wait for the community but the County’s logic is now clear. There is NO PERMIT, there is ILLEGAL LAND USE and if the NOW WELL-DEFINED ILLEGAL LAND USE CONTINUES it is going to help fuel the County planning coffers big time. Let’s clap our hands for Mr. Idiot Ridge’s defiance because god knows the County could use the revenue from some big ongoing violation fines. Behind the scenes the County has done its patient work building the case.

What will it be next for Idiot Ridge: orders to remove tracks and restore the land? injunctions? dirt bike confiscations? liens? Stay tuned and be glad you aren’t entering the next level of Code Enforcement Violations. Once a conditional use permit is DENIED and the record is closed the next steps aren’t pretty if a violator continues to violate.

So exciting legal days are ahead for Molalla. I think fake “manager”Atkins (he’s fake because he is “managing” for the rich speculators outside the city limits and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the current residents in the city that PAYS HIM!) should start that “who can rack up the biggest, most bogus legal bills” contest between Molalla plannin’ and Idiot Ridge.

Who needs dodgeball when we can just sit back and watch the County face off against the clueless, disrespectful boobs who think they can buck the State and County land use laws? It won’t be pretty, but Clackamas County has clearly had enough “fun” with pathetic scoff law “ideas” coming out of backwaterville Molalla. Ignorance is now longer bliss down in these boxcanyons – it is going to lead to EXPENSIVE FAILURE ON BOTH MX AND URBAN RESERVES. It will be interesting to see how expensive it will get before the scoff laws cry “uncle”.

Stay tuned – and can’t we please get some reality show to pick up on “Molalla gone CRAZY“? The world needs some laughs! Or should we just promote a show called “THE BIGGEST MONEY PLANNIN’ LOSER“?

Are you ready to lay down your bet on the biggest loser? I’m waiting to see who pulls the plug first! If it were me in either the MX or the urban reserve case I’d have cut the loses years ago. But hey, that’s just me, I tend to go for the facts first and base financial decisions on reality. The denizens of backwaterville don’t seem to promote research and in the land of the damned some people seem to think money grows on trees!

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