Clackamas County Approves $14.3M Settlement with Happy Valley in NCPRD Dispute

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners approved a $14.3 million settlement this week with the Happy Valley City Council that ends a two-year legal dispute over parks and recreation services.

The agreement calls for both jurisdictions to collaboratively develop and support legislation that would remove Happy Valley from the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District in exchange for dropping all legal claims.

Officials said the settlement allows both parties to turn the page and focus on building new parks and providing great recreation programs and services to their respective residents.

“I strongly believe the settlement agreement is fair and benefits both parties,” said Happy Valley Mayor Tom Ellis. “The City Council and I are excited to use the funds to build new parks in our community.”

“This settlement brings needed certainty to present and future planning for services and operations for the district,” added County Chair Jim Bernard. “We look forward to helping the City be successful during this transition and are excited to focus our efforts on the great work NCPRD has started in the other parts of the district.”

The settlement agreement is contingent on successfully passing legislation during the 2020 legislative session that will withdraw Happy Valley from NCPRD and allow the City to become its own parks and recreation provider.

The funds for the $14.3 million payment to Happy Valley will come from development fees generated in that city, as well as a portion of the sales proceeds at Hood View Park.

The county also agreed to transfer the following parks and public lands from North Clackamas Parks and Rec to Happy Valley: Southern Lites, Village Green, Ashley Meadows, Hidden Falls and the Mt. Scott Creek Trail.

Both the city and county expressed their thanks to state Reps. Janelle Bynum and Mark Meek, whom they said were instrumental in the recent negotiations and the ultimately successful settlement.

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