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Arch Bridge/Bolton Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Arch Bridge/Bolton plan

What is the Arch Bridge/Bolton plan?

This long-range project will create a viable master plan and implementation strategy for the Arch Bridge/Bolton area. The City is looking to reopen the door to its past in this historic but underutilized section of West Linn by bringing people and businesses back and showcasing the natural beauty of the area.

What area is being considered?

The area extends from the around old Bolton Fire Station (located at Elliott Street and Willamette Drive/Highway 43), south along Highway 43 to the area around the Arch Bridge. Check out a map of the areas being considered. Primary areas are likely to see more change than secondary areas.

What type of development is being considered for the Arch Bridge area of the plan?

The project includes potentially reconfiguring major streets, redevelopment, new investment and infill. Possible development could include but is not limited to higher density housing; a hotel; restaurant space as well as retail and service space.

What is a “town center”?

Metro’s 2040 Growth Concept, a regional, 50-year plan for growth, includes “town centers.” Generally, these areas provide services to thousands within a two- to three-mile radius. Typically, there are one- to three-story buildings for employment and housing. Town centers have a strong sense of community identity and are well served by transit. Examples include small city centers like Lake Oswego, Tualatin, and Milwaukie.

Is the City required to increase density under Metro Title 6?

The city is not required, nor is the city planning on meeting Title 6 recommendations as part of this project. In addition, specific density requirements are NOT part of the project. Title 6 is part of Metro’s Urban Growth Management Functional Plan and the Metro Code. It implements goals and objectives identified by the 2040 Growth Concept and the Regional Framework Plan. It has optional regulations for communities with centers, corridors, station communities, and main streets. Communities must follow the requirements if they want to be eligible for regional investments (e.g., light rail).

What are CDC-10-02 and Ordinance 1633 and how do they relate to the Arch Bridge/Bolton Plan?

The amendments DO NOT relate to the Arch Bridge/Bolton Plan. CDC-10-02 is a planning project that consists of Community Development Code amendments that were proposed to be adopted as Ordinance 1633. It was commonly referred to as the PUD/Infill Amendments project. The proposed amendments were to be considered by the City Council on November 10, 2014. The Council remanded the proposed amendments back to the Planning Commission, who will consider them at a later date, likely in 2015. They began as in 2010 and were guided by a Task Force that met numerous times in 2010 and 2011. Due to staff reassignments, the Planning Commission did not recommend approval of them until August 2014.

The amendments apply to properties city-wide and change the city’s Planned Unit Development requirements, add requirements to properties developed as a flag lots, and allow for cluster development, cottage housing, and zero lot line housing.

You can find out more on the project’s web page:

Is the Willamette Town Center part of the Arch Bridge/Bolton Plan?

Similar to the Bolton neighborhood, some of the Willamette neighborhood is designated as a town center in the 2040 Growth Concept. The Arch Bridge/Bolton Plan ONLY applies to parts of the Bolton neighborhood and DOES NOT apply to the Willamette neighborhood.

Will there be access to the Willamette River?

The plan hopes to achieve greater physical and visual access to the Willamette River through advanced development of West Bridge Park and development of underutilized areas near the West Linn Paper Company. Such modifications could include improved trails, canoe and kayak access at West Bridge Park and scenic overlooks at the park as well as near the Arch Bridge.

Will there be trail connectivity?

Yes, the project will look at increasing bike and pedestrian connectivity throughout the study area. The plan will look to connect West Bridge Park trails with a new trail being constructed that will eventually run from Willamette Park to the Arch Bridge.

What will be done to improve traffic flow in that area?

The project is considering a number of options, including a roundabout, signalized intersection(s) and realignment of roadways at Willamette Falls Drive and Willamette Drive. Additional changes may be recommended that will require another planning process.

Where will people park?

Parking will be provided for the proposed uses. It is expected that much of the parking would be structured or tuck-under rather than surface parking.

What is the timeline for the project?

The City kicked off the project at a City Council meeting in January 2014. There will be a draft plan for the Council’s review in December 2014. Any needed regulatory changes will take place in early 2015.

Why is the Arch Bridge project being considered now?

Several events make now the right time to start planning this area of West Linn. The sale of the Blue Heron site in Oregon City has ignited redevelopment across the river, the Arch Bridge has reopened after two years of closure and reconstruction, and the recovery of the recession has led to the demand for additional housing options as well as business opportunities.

How is the project plan being funded?

The project plan is funded through a $220,000 Metro Community Planning and Development grant, which is funded through construction excise tax. The City is providing an $80,000 in-kind match.

Who owns the properties involved?

The properties are owned by a mix of public and private owners, including the City.

How would infrastructure or other improvements be funded?

The final master plan will include an implementation strategy with a recommended financing plan that will include a list of funding programs to pay for required infrastructure improvements and to encourage private investment in the area. These programs being considered will include grants, tax credits, public/private partnerships, system development charges, tax increment financing or other incentive-based programs that would lead to the implementation of the plan.

Is the plan developer driven?

The City initiated the planning process and anticipates that development will include both public and private efforts.

Is there a developer already in place?

No developers are in place at this time.

How do I learn more about the project?

Visit or contact Sara Javoronok, Associate Planner, City of West Linn, at or 503-722-5512.

How do I get on a mailing list for the project?

Click here: