Neighbors Against Bethany Lake Gas Station

Table of Contents

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About Us

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There is a proposed gas station adjacent to Bethany Lake and wetlands. We are organizing to stop this development for environmental, traffic, and economic reasons.

Summary of the Proposal

For more details see the Application Documents below.

Site Photos

Vegetated corridor encroachment
Vegetated corridor proposed
Impervious surfaces
Fuel tank location
Flood map
Fuel delivery
Title 13 Inventory Map

These site photos are taken from the Application Documents.

Property Zoning

The property to be developed is zoned Neighborhood Commercial which the Washington County Community Development Code defines:

311 NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL DISTRICT

311-1 Intent and Purpose

The purpose of the Neighborhood Commercial District is to allow small to medium sized shopping and service facilities and limited office use in Neighborhood Commercial Centers. This District is intended to provide for the shopping and service needs of the immediate urban neighborhood. Neighborhood Commercial locations should be easily accessible by car and foot from neighborhoods in the area. Centers should have minimal negative impact on surrounding residential properties.

Objections

There are a variety of objections that community members have raised to this particular development.

Economic

Government Regulators: Oregon State, and US Federal

Washington County, Oregon State, and the US Federal government all have strategic plans to cut consumption of gasoline for passenger vehicles. Further, if you drive around this area you will see many residents are making the transition to electric vehicles for themselves.

According to Oregon DMV records the 97229 and 97006 zip codes now have seen 3,509 registered electric vehicles (source). Last October we reported there were 3,134 vehicles. So, we are looking at a 10% increase of 375 electric vehicles in Bethany in one year!

In those two zip codes in 2019 (the best data I could get) there were 89,694 vehicles (source) so electric vehicles now make up roughly 4% of total vehicles registered in the area.

To put it another way Bethany has nearly 7% of the 52,033 EVs registered in Oregon. And nearly 32% of all EVs in Washington County.

This is all to say that in the coming years and decades there will be less demand for gasoline in Bethany in particular. As a result there will come a time in the not so distant future when the station needs to be closed and the gas tanks are removed.

Despite the EPA requires $1MM in financial responsibility taxpayers all too often pay for cleanup of leaking insolvent gas stations. For example the Senz Automotive Service cleanup in Yamhill, Oregon cost taxpayers over $500,000 (in 2009 dollars) in the cleanup costs. And the Johnson Oil cleanup in Clatskine, Oregon took several decades of government money and effort between 1987 and 2022.

You can learn more about gas station spill frequency, cleanup costs, and more at the Post Pump Reports page.

Environmental

Government Regulators: Oregon State and US Federal

According to the site plans the gas pumps are about 60ft from the Bethany Creek wetland and the Underground Storage Tanks (UST) are about 80ft away. It is not uncommon for USTs to leak. The regulations for USTs are not set by Washington county but instead are regulated by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Learn more at the DEQ UST program page or lookup UST cleanup sites by zipcode.

Oregon DEQ reported 50 Underground Storage Tank releases between October 1st 2020 and September 30th 2021 in their annual report. For a sense of scale, 50 leaks means 2.8% of the 1,796 regulated Oregon Underground Storage Tank facilities leaked in one year. And many of the leaks in the DEQ database are not detected until the tank is decommissioned. Also, it is worth understanding from the Oregon DEQ annual report that even if the tank itself is working perfectly USTs can leak from their dispensers, piping, or have spills caused from delivery hardware.

Pedestrian Safety

185th and West Union is a major pedestrian thoroughfare for many people in our community. Most notably this includes West View High School students who walk home from school and have to cross this intimidating intersection. The shallow entrance and exits of this proposed gas station coupled with drivers distracted with handling food and beverages inside their vehicle from the drivethrough is creating a dangerous situation for our community.

Recreational Fishing and Health

The nearby Bethany Lake is stocked with fish from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of their charge under Oregon Revised Statute 506.036. These fish are caught and consumed by people in our community. A catastrophic spill or even the day to day drips and drops (called non-point source) runoff from the station endagers this ODFW program and the people fishing and consuming from Bethany Lake.

The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The Department is charged by statute (ORS 506.036) to protect and propagate fish in the state. This includes direct responsibility for regulating harvest of fish, protection of fish, enhancement of fish populations through habitat improvement, and the rearing and release of fish into public waters. ODFW operates hatcheries throughout the state based on the best scientific principles to provide fish for sustainable commercial and recreational harvests, meeting state commitments to tribal treaties, and helping to recover naturally spawning populations of salmon and steelhead.

Traffic

Government Regulators: Washington County

West Union and 185th is a busy intersection: 185th serves significant access to Highway 26 for Bethany and West Union is a major thoroughfare for employees at Intel and related businesses. As this proposal sits right on the corner of this intersection it will cause significant changes in traffic flow. Further, this new proposal in 2022 introduces a drive-thru which will further increase congestion and daily trips.

In the 2020 Washington County Staff Report (pg. 42) for the withdrawn proposal for 12 pumps Washington County staff noted: “the proposed development will generate a net increase in (sic) 6,465 additional trips”.

Zoning Purpose

Government Regulators: Washington County

The applicant’s property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial with the Intent and Purpose from the code being:

The purpose of the Neighborhood Commercial District is to allow small to medium sized shopping and service facilities and limited office use in Neighborhood Commercial Centers. This District is intended to provide for the shopping and service needs of the immediate urban neighborhood. Neighborhood Commercial locations should be easily accessible by car and foot from neighborhoods in the area. Centers should have minimal negative impact on surrounding residential properties.

We think that allowing gas stations in the Bethany Neighborhood Commercial District near Bethany Lake no longer makes sense and doesn’t meet the needs of the community. Bethany has four gas stations serving the area within 2 miles.

Unfortunately, the Neighborhood Commercial zoning provides no limits to the number of fuel station pumps (S430-123) while at the same time it limits the adjacency or of other businesses in these zones. Most notably limiting the number of Food Markets per commercial center:

311-3.10 Food Market with a maximum gross floor area of 35,000 square feet, limited to one per Neighborhood Commercial Center.

Get Involved

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to stay informed on opportunities to voice your opinion and stop the Bethany Lake Gas Station.

(We won't spam or sell this list.)

Email Board of Commissioners

In Washington County, Land Use Code (law) updates are passed by the Board of Commissioners. We want to see Washington County pass a land use update to ban the development of gas stations within 1,500 feet of residences, public park or playground, school, hospital, church, theater, public library or building for public assembly; or any wetland, stream, river, flood plain, or environmentally sensitive area.

Sign our Letter to Commissioners

Letters to the Editor

Writing a letter to local media is a powerful way to bring attention to this proposed Chevron and its associated risks. Our Letters to the Editor page includes criteria to submit letters to various media outlets and three examples letters that have been submitted.

The Beaverton Times publised two Letters to the Editor in the Nov. 11th 2021 edition (archive).

The Beaverton Times published another Letter to the Editor in the Dec. 23rd 2021 edition (archive).

Community Letters

If you prepare a well researched letter please email brandon@nabgas.com and I may post it on this site.

Timeline

This is a timeline of past and future events on this application. Subscribe to the mailing list above to get information about future events.

Future Events

November 17th, 2022 at 1pm: A public hearing for the new design that includes a “Special Use and Development Review approval” for an approximately 4,428 square foot commercial development. The “Chevron Market” consists of a convenience market, a gas station with four fueling islands (eight pumps), and a drive-thru. The application has an Access Management Plan for access to NW West Union Road, and a Half-Street Exception for improvements to NW West Union Road. See the announcement. Join the Zoom Meeting.

Past Events

November 4rd, 2022: Staff report published.

October 20th, 2022 at 10am: A public hearing is continued at Bob Barman’s request. It was scheduled for the new design that includes a “Special Use and Development Review approval” for an approximately 4,428 square foot commercial development. The “Chevron Market” consists of a convenience market, a gas station with four fueling islands (eight pumps), and a drive-thru. The application has an Access Management Plan for access to NW West Union Road, and a Half-Street Exception for improvements to NW West Union Road. See the announcement. Join the Zoom Meeting.

July 21st, 2022: Washington County has deemed the third design application (Casefile L2200199) as complete and the three documents are available for review: Civil Plans, Narrative Application, and Landscape Plans.

June / July 2022: Long term planning for Washington County Land Use and Transportation will consider adding a plan for gas station land use.

March 30th, 2022: Bob Barman, the developer, is hosting a neighborhood review of a third redesign. See the summary on the mailing list.

January 20th, 2022: Opportunity for public testimony during Washington County Hearings Officer meeting on Zoom.

January 11th, 2022: Bob Barman, the applicant, requested a continuance until June 16, 2022 at 9am.

November 24th, 2021: 78 public comments published.

November 18th, 2021: Washington County Land Use Hearings Officer meeting. Applicant asked for a continuance. Listen to the audio on YouTube.

November 11th, 2021: Staff report published.

October 29th, 2021: The public comment period for the application for the Chevron near Bethany Lake is opened. The land use case is L2100244.

October 2021: Washington County’s Community Participation Organization (CPO) had a Q&A Zoom meeting about the new proposal. Watch the video on YouTube

September 2021: Washington County accepted the application for the site once again. It is case file L2100244 on the Washington County project page.

March 2021: Washington County Planning Commission reply to community members letters about impact of the service station application (pg. 84).

September 2020: Land Use Case L2000057 is withdrawn. (via Cedar Mill News)

May 2020: The Washington County Department of Land Use and Transportation issue their report on the original L2000057 land use case.

April 2020: The community learned that Robert Barman, on behalf of his Chevron franchise company, was proposing a Chevron gas station at the site of the old Mad Greek Deli. (via Cedar Mill News). The land use case is L2000057 with Washington County.

Application Documents

We requested application documents for Land Use Case L2200199. The documents were provided by Washington County on 2022-07-29 and are published here.

These are links to the Land Use Cases and related materials published by CPO 7.

News Stories

Editorials

Social Media Discussions

Printables

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who owns the West Union and 185th gas station site?

Based on the filings with Washington County for L2000057 the Payer for the application was “WEST UNION AND 185TH FOOD MKT INC”. This company, West Union and 185th Food Mkt, lists Robert Barman and Mary Barman as President and Secretary. Robert and Mary Barman own other gas and convenience store businesses such as Cornelius Fast Serv, and Woodburn Fast Serv. Previously they operated Canby Fast Serv until 2009.

Q: How much gasoline will the station pump?

A: In an application document that outlines the data from Robert Barman’s Woodburn Chevron it states: 3,590,287 gallons of fuel was sold in 2019 (~299,190 gallons a month) and that “The number of fueling stations provided at this gas station (12) is identical to the number in the proposed development”. The new 2021 application, L2100244, does reduce the number of pumps from 12 to 10 so it might be reasonable to assume a 17% reduction in gas pumped from 299,190 gallons a month to 248,327 gallons a month.

Q: The applicant proposes to add solar panels to the roof. How much does that offset the gas emissions?

Even with a generous solar production estimate that assumes coverage of the entire roof solar generation will offset 0.01% of the carbon emissions from the fuel that is estimated to sell every year based on application documents.

Q: Who wrote and maintains this website?

A: My name is Brandon Philips, hello! I am a Bethany resident, an Oregon native, and an Oregon State University graduate. I created this website to collate all of the disparate information about the proposed gas station to help neighbors form their opinion and have facts available when engaging with the various political and land use processes. If you have questions feel free to contact: brandon@nabgas.com