Happy Valley gives Clackamas County $13 million bill for unbuilt park projects

Happy Valley wants Clackamas County to pay back more than $13 million in tax revenue for new park projects that the county “failed, refused and neglected” to build over more than a decade, a lawsuit claims.

The suit also names the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District and alleges breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

The Happy Valley City Council voted in June to leave the Parks and Recreation District after joining in 2005, according to the city. The city filed the lawsuit Monday because it couldn’t reach an agreement “that was fair to the residents of Happy Valley,” city officials said in a statement.

“We had hoped our withdrawal from NCPRD could remain amicable and we are disappointed the terms of the agreement couldn’t have been settled out of court,” said Happy Valley Mayor Lori DeRemer.

READ THE LAWSUIT

The county said the lawsuit “is based on inaccurate representations of fact and a misguided perception” that Happy Valley is owed more than what’s allowable by law.

The parks district has been willing to continue negotiating a division of assets and is in compliance with its longstanding agreement with the city, county officials said.  

“The city is seeking a disproportionate share of park district assets without any supporting legal basis or justification,” Clackamas County Administrator Don Krupp said in a statement. “Agreeing to their proposal would significantly overburden the district and would not be fair to the 100,000 residents outside of Happy Valley who are served by NCPRD.”

He also said the county will “aggressively defend this legal action.” 

According to the lawsuit, the unbuilt projects were a community recreation center, new turf being on a city park soccer field, a new Mt. Scott Creek trail path and a new park with athletic fields.

Happy Valley’s contract with the parks district required the city to collect system development charges and transfer the money to the county, the lawsuit said. The money was supposed to go…

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