Note: The author wrote this history of Four Seasons in January 2012.
During the 1960s I worked as a loan closer (later called escrow officer) for Securities-Intermountain, Inc., a mortgage company located at 13th and East Burnside in Portland. Also working for the company was a very tall young man. His job was to inspect properties under construction that were financed by the company. He approved construction draws for the builders as the stage of construction met the percentage of completion requirement. His name was Dwight Haugen. When he resigned, we were all shocked to learn that he was involved in the development of a large area way out in Washington County by a two lane country road called Murray outside of a small town called Beaverton - many miles from Portland.
He had teamed up with a gentleman by the name of John Klein and formed two companies, Beaver Construction Company and Wedgwood Homes of Portland. The area was a Planned Unit Development (PUD) named Four Seasons. Their vision for the area of free standing homes, attached homes, club house, adult and family swimming pools, common areas with walking paths, a meandering creek with bridges, a homeowners association and sub-homeowners associations was a unique one for Oregon- so unique it was later featured in Sunset magazine.
In 1976, our Realtor showed my husband and me a house that we really liked and it happened to be in Four Seasons. I had more than a mild interest in the area. The Four Season development was completed by this time and the developer had moved on to other areas he was developing. One well known area was Westbrook on the East side of Murray at 6th Avenue.
After settling in, I volunteered to serve on the Board of Four Seasons Homeowners Association as recording secretary, a position I held off and on (mostly on) for 23 years. During that time I researched how the area was developed. My work as an escrow officer (and later Realtor) gave me the ability to obtain copies of all the recorded plats, CC&Rs and other recorded documents from the title companies. My research revealed the full picture of the development of Four Seasons.
The Articles of Incorporation of Four Seasons Homeowners Association were filed in October 1969 with the Corporation Commissioner for the State of Oregon.
Development from 1968 to 1975
A total of 16 plats were recorded before the development was completed beginning in 1968 and ending in 1975. Some of the plats were replats of portions of other plats. When each plat was recorded, the covenants, conditions and restriction (CC&Rs) were also recorded for that particular plat. Other than a change in plat number the CC&Rs were the same except for the four subhomeowner associations: Summerville Square, Crystalbrook, The Villas and The Heights. The CC&Rs for these areas established a sub-homeowners association and addressed the needs for each particular area.
Plats No. 1 and 2 were the area from the entrance at Murray and Village Lane to 152nd. The club house was constructed in Plat 2 and used as a sales office. A longtime resident of Four Seasons and Crystalbrook, Inez Cohen, was a salesperson for Wedgwood Homes and sold many properties in Four Seasons. Upon completion, there were a total of 385 dwelling units.
Also in Plat 2 was a large parcel designated as Lot 27. This was later platted as Summerville Square, the first sub-homeowners association.
The developer skipped around the area recording plats that were not necessarily contiguous. Plat No. 3 was at the entrance to Four Seasons at 150th off of Davis Road down to Village Lane. The plat did not include the first two lots on each side of 150th and Davis Road.
Plat No. 4 went west on Village Lane past a very large parcel on the left designated on the plat as 47. This would later be platted as Crystalbrook, another sub-home owners association. Plat No. 4 continued west on Village Lane past 152nd and ended at the back of the lots facing Glenbrook Road left of Village Lane. In this same plat there was another large tract designated as 70 which would later be platted into The Villas, another sub-homeowners association.
Plat No. 5 was back at 150th near the Davis Road entrance at Hickory Lane. In April 1969, Plat No. 6 was back to Lot 27, Four Seasons No. 2 for a replat to become Summerville Square consisting of 7 attached homes. This was the first of four sub-homeowners associations to be developed and built.
Each time the developer established a sub-homeowner association, he filed Articles of Incorporation with the State Corporation Commissioner, recorded the plat and CC&Rs setting up the association and prepared By-laws setting forth the number and duties of Board members, Committees and general rules for carrying out the functions of the association. The homeowners within the sub homeowner association were obligated to pay dues to the sub-homeowner association in addition to paying homeowner dues to Four Seasons Homeowners Association.
Plat No. 7 was the area on the right side of Village Lane from 152 to the back of the lots facing Glenbrook Road on the right of Village Lane. Four Seasons was now beginning to fill in. Plat No. 7 did include a large parcel designated 132 which would be platted later as Plat No. 11.
Plat No. 8 included the balance of the land in the Four Seasons Development from the end of Plat No. 7 to the end of Village Lane at the field and power lines on the West, along the field to Davis Road on the left and along the field to the right to Division. All of Plat No. 8 was platted into regular lots except the areas both left and right of Village Lane bordering the field. These were designated as 142, 143, and 221 through 227. No. 142 would later be replatted as Plat No. 10, and 143 and 221 through 227 would be platted as Plat No. 13, The Heights Homeowners Association, fourth and final sub-homeowners association.
For Plat No. 9, in March 1971, the developer went back to the large parcel designated as 70 in No. 4. This was replatted as The Villas, the second sub homeowners association to be developed and built. There were a total of 10 attached homes, 8 two story and 2 one story.
The developer was now jumping around again. He was back to 142 of Plat No. 8 at Division. He recorded Plat No. 10 which was a replat of Lot 142. Plat No. 10 contained two regular size lots for free standing dwellings on each side of a Tract he designated as Village Place beginning at Division. The balance of Plat No. 10 was larger lots, on which 3 were used for the construction of duplexes. He recorded a Maintenance Agreement for the private street, Village Place, and the other tracts in Plat 10. The Maintenance Agreement gave the homeowners whose property abutted Village Place, the responsibility for the maintenance of the portion of the private street and other tracts within Plat 10. The balance of the larger lots would later be replatted as Plat 16, the final plat of the Four Seasons Development.
Plat No. 11 brought the developer back to the undeveloped area 132 in Plat No. 7. The plat consisted of 9 lots and Tract 132J, a private street for the ingress and egress of four of the lots to 152nd Avenue. A maintenance agreement recorded by the developer gave the responsibility of maintaining the private street to the four lots abutting Tract 132J.
The developer now turned his attention to the very large area designated as Lot 47, Plat No. 4., located across from the club house. It was surrounded by Village Lane on the North, 152nd on the West and Davis Road on the South. He envisioned this area to be for homeowners desiring a carefree lifestyle.
Plat No. 12 which he recorded in 1972 contained 57 lots with private streets. The CC&Rs established the 3rd sub-homeowners association called Four Seasons Townhouse Association, later changed to The Crystalbrook Homeowners Association. Unlike the other sub-homeowners associations, its CC&Rs provided that homeowners pay a monthly fee which included exterior maintenance upon and for each lot including paint, replace and care for roofs, gutters, downspouts, exterior building improvements, trees, shrubs, grass, landscaped areas, walks and other exterior improvements. A total of 57 dwelling units were constructed, 56 were one level attached homes and one was a two-story free standing home. It attracted senior homeowners.
Crystalbrook CC&R changes in 1978
In November, 1978, the CC&Rs for Crystalbrook were amended by the homeowners removing from the responsibility or liability of the Association the repair and/or replacement of any roofs and giving this responsibility to each homeowner. In an attempt to qualify the area as 55 years and older, the CC&Rs were amended by the homeowners in May, 1994, to provide that 80% of the lots must be occupied by at least one person 55 years or older and no child under 18 years of age was permitted to reside in any lot or use any part of the common area. In May, 1998 this amendment was repealed because the area did not qualify under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988. There is no longer an age restriction in Crystalbrook; however, the majority of the homeowners are seniors.
Now the only undeveloped part of Four Seasons was at the West end. The developer focused on the undeveloped portion of Plat No. 8. In 1972 He replatted the undeveloped portion as Plat No. 13. He recorded CC&Rs establishing the fourth and final sub-homeowners association, The Heights Homeowners Association. He included tracts in the plat to be private streets. In the CC&Rs an easement was included for the benefit of the properties abutting these tracts for ingress and egress and placed responsibility for maintenance of the tracts on the property owners affected.
He decided to fine tune Plat No. 13 in 1974 by dividing the Plat into 2 plats. Plat No. 14, became the area on the south side of Village Lane between the field and the Chehalem Schoolyard to Davis Road. It consisted of 30 building sites improved by 30 attached (common wall) homes
Plat No. 15 was the area on the north side of Village Lane along the field. It consisted of 40 building sites improved by 40 attached (common wall) homes. There was no need to record additional CC&Rs because both No. 14 and 15 were replats of No. 13 and therefore subject to the CC&Rs recorded for No. 13. The Heights Homeowners Association now consisted of 70 attached homes.
The Heights expanded
The only undeveloped property left now in the Four Seasons Development were some large lots in Four Seasons No. 10 located between the two houses at the entrance of Village Place and Division and the 3 duplexes constructed earlier at the south end of Plat No. 10 on Village Place. In 1975 the developer replatted these large lots as Plat No. 16, the final plat of the Four Seasons Development, and constructed 8 attached homes. He recorded CC&Rs for No. 16, making it a part of The Heights Homeowners Association. This increased the total in the association to 78. (All of the plat maps can be seen here.)
Practically every plat recorded contained one or more tracts. These tracts were deeded to The Four Seasons Homeowners Association by the developer, were later called common areas, and made the responsibility of The Four Seasons Homeowners Association to maintain. Tracts deeded to the subhomeowners association were the responsibility of sub-homeowners association. Tracts that were covered by recorded Maintenance Agreements were the responsibility of the lots specified in the Maintenance Agreements.
Truckloads of trees
According to Inez Cohn, who was selling for the developer at the time, the developer brought in and planted truckloads of trees to give Four Seasons its woodsy look, which later attracted many buyers to the development.
There were no street lights in Four Seasons. The developer had installed a gas post light on every lot. While this was very picturesque, it was not very light. In 1980 George Garrison, a homeowner residing on Rockwood Court, took an active interest in converting the gas post lights to electric. With the installation of a "magic eye", the light would be on from dusk to dawn, unlike the gas on 24/7, and the light would be brighter. George provided every homeowner (via the newsletter) with drawing instructions for the conversion. He even assisted many homeowners throughout the area. This was great; however, now homeowners neglected to replace the bulbs and many post lights were no longer functioning. From that time on, the Board of the Four Seasons Homeowners Association has to continually remind homeowners to maintain their light posts. It is very important for homeowners on private streets to do so. Unfortunately, some homeowners have gone so far as to completely remove their light posts. George's design was for 2 candelabra base sockets and candelabra bulbs. If incandescent bulbs are no longer made, homeowners must either have the light rewired with a base to accommodate the new energy bulb or buy a new top for their post.
People began to move to the suburbs creating traffic problems. Village Lane ended at the field with the power lines. Washington County opened Village Lane to SW 160th, creating traffic problems on Village Lane. People were using Village Lane as a short cut from Murray to 160th. The Board of Directors of Four Seasons Homeowners Association fought long and hard for the four way stop at Village Lane and 152nd Avenue to protect pedestrians. The three way stop and crosswalk to Chehalem School at Village Lane and Village Circle was a must to protect the school children.
Businesses were springing up around Allen and Murray. In 1984 a commercial developer, Portland Fixture Company, purchased for $359,000 a large tract of land on the West side of Murray and adjacent to the back of the homes facing Village Lane, 150th Avenue and another residential area called Sorensen Estates. (Click here for purchase documentation.) The developer wanted to develop the property as commercial. Board members of Four Seasons Homeowners Association and many homeowners (especially the ones whose properties would be adversely affected) attended many meetings held by the Beaverton City Council. Some meetings lasted until the wee hours of morning. Portland Fixture Company finally received approval to develop the portion of the property fronting on Murray Road. The approval was subject to: (1) the developer deeding additional property to the first 6 properties on Village Lane that backed to the tract, to create a sound barrier between the homes and the commercial development, (2) the developer constructing a tall concrete wall between the commercial development and the additional property conveyed to the homeowners, and (3) the developer donating the balance of the property - 3.23 Acres - as a park.
Roy Dancer Park
The park was bound on the East by the commercial development, on the North by the homes in Four Seasons facing Village Lane, on the West by the homes on 150th and on the South by Sorensen Estates. The park was later named Roy Dancer Park, after Roy Dancer, a resident of Sorensen Estates. He had campaigned endlessly for the park. The park is now a part of the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD). The commercial development is currently occupied by Rite-Aid. The public entrance to the park is on Wheaton Lane in back of the commercial development. (Click here for Roy Dancer maps.)
In early 2011, THPRD purchased a public right of way and easement across the north 10 feet of Lot 30, Four Seasons No. 3 (5960 SW 150th Avenue) from the owners, to be developed as a foot path for public access to the park. The foot path is to be completed in 2013. Public records show that THPRD paid the owners $60,000 for the right of way and easement. (Click here for easement information.)
Beaverton was busy expanding by annexing properties into the City and it had its eye on Four Seasons. It promised if the homeowners agreed to be annexed, it would install street lights on the public streets (no private streets), maintain the public streets and provide Four Seasons with city services. In 1988, Four Seasons was annexed by the City of Beaverton and street lights were installed as agreed. It has lived up to its commitment maintaining the public streets. The street sweeper comes through the first of every month. Beaverton police patrol the area. The homeowners pay water and sewer bills to Beaverton. Fire protection is provided by Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.
Murray Road widened and renamed
Murray's two lanes were clogged with traffic and Washington County was forced to widen it to four lanes. In the process it was necessary for the County to purchase the two properties (Lot 8 on the North side of Village Lane and Lot 9 on the South side) at the entrance of Four Seasons. The houses were sold and moved. One, a Cape Cod design, was moved to Division Street near 152nd. The number of dwelling units in Four Seasons now totaled 383. Murray Road not only had a new look; it also had a new name – Murray Boulevard.
The county used a portion of each lot in the widening process. In May 1997 the Board agreed to purchase the unused portion of both lots for $3,000 to protect the entrance of Four Seasons. This also included the unused portion of the 50 feet added to the back of Lot 9 by deed from Portland Fixture Company. (Click here for purchase information.)
In the widening process, Washington County eliminated the left turn onto Village Lane from Murray Boulevard. Although this was an inconvenience for the residents, it did eliminate a lot of cut-through traffic on Village Lane.
All of the dwelling units in Four Seasons had roofs of either cedar shingle or shake except in The Heights Homeowners Association and the balance of Village Place, the roofs were composition. This was not part of the recorded CC&Rs for any of the plats in Four Seasons. The Architectural Committee however, to "maintain the original look" refused to approve any material for roof replacement except cedar shake. In later years, the public was becoming more aware of fire hazard in wooded areas of properties with only wooden roofs. Homeowner associations in California with this restriction in their CC&Rs were amending the restriction. Many of the homeowner associations around the metropolitan Portland area were doing the same. In 2004 there was an overwhelming turnout of homeowners at a board meeting with the subject of roofs on the agenda. The club house was packed, not even standing room and there was an overflow crowd outside that could not get in the door. These homeowners wanted a change! The Board of Directors felt the pressure. Now the homeowners have a choice of cedar shake or a heavy grade of composition not less than 345 lb. in certain approved colors.
The concept of sub-homeowners association was ideal; however, it did not seem to work for The Heights Homeowners Association. Several attempts by homeowners were made over the years to make it function. Finally, homeowners lost interest. The area became the eyesore of the Four Seasons Development. Property values were adversely affected. One of the Four Seasons Homeowners Association Board Members encouraged a homeowner, Diane Stephenson, on Heights Lane to tackle the job again. Unfortunately, Diane was under the misconception that The Heights Homeowners Association included all the properties at the west end of Four Seasons. She set about collecting dues from all the homeowners that would pay. She was under further misconception that one of the functions of The Heights Homeowners Association was to maintain all the private streets at the west end of Four Seasons. Village Place was badly in need of repair. She paid from the dues collected from all homeowners for the repair and paving of Village Place. She did not realize that all of Village Place was not in The Heights Homeowners Association and that a Maintenance Agreement existed whereby the properties only on Village Place were responsible for the maintenance. Some knowledgeable homeowners pointed out her mistake. Discouraged and disillusioned, she sold her property and moved out of the area.
My husband and I, looking for a rental property, purchased an attached home on Tract C in Plat No. 15 in 1995. I began to research information about The Heights Homeowners Association. Several concerned homeowners in The Heights Homeowners Association attended a meeting at my home to discuss the continuation of the association as an active one. They stated their willingness to serve on the board in some capacity. Notice of a meeting to be held September 20, 1995 was mailed to all homeowners in the association for an election of directors. Homeowners volunteered to serve on committees. The Board of Directors began holding monthly meetings attended by committees and many of the homeowners. We published a monthly newsletter. Homeowners, seeing improvement in the appearance of the area as a result of a functioning association with working committees, paid their annual dues
In 1997 my husband and I purchased the attached home adjoining the one we already owned. Later that year, I, now being alone, sold the home on Cranberry Court where we had lived since 1976. I downsized and moved into the most recently purchased attached home after completely remodeling it.
In 2005, the association began to lose homeowners who had been active in its operation. Some moved, some became involved in other projects in their lives and a few died. No homeowners would volunteer to fill the vacancies. The eight homeowners in Plat No. 16 refused to acknowledge that they were a part of The Heights Homeowners Association despite the fact their title insurance policies clearly stated they were.
Dissolution of the Heights
In 2007 the association was barely functioning. Dianne Zellner, a homeowner who had been very active as the Architecture Chairman, and I began to discuss the possibility of legally dissolving the association. After all, having originally been a part of Four Seasons No. 8, the area remained subject to the CC&Rs of Four Seasons No. 8 as well as the association. We sent a survey to the homeowners to determine if they agreed to the dissolution. It was an overwhelming YES. Under Oregon Senate Bill 094, the architectural duties were assumed by The Four Seasons Homeowners Association.
We presented our proposal for legally dissolving the association to the Board of Directors of Four Seasons Homeowners Association at the monthly meeting on September 7, 2008. The board voted unanimously to take the position of "no objection" provided there were no legal fees required of Four Seasons Homeowners Association. There were enough funds in the treasury of The Heights Homeowners Association to pay all expenses of the dissolution.
Dianne Zellner and I interviewed several real estate attorneys and chose Scott Wyse of Meyer & Wyse in downtown Portland in October 2008. It proved to be an excellent choice. He provided us with an outline to follow and necessary documents to be signed to accomplish the dissolution. We followed his instructions and with his help, the dissolution of The Heights Homeowners Association was legally accomplished in March 2009. The CC&Rs for Four Seasons No. 13 were amended eliminating The Heights Homeowners Association and substituting Four Seasons Homeowners Association. The easement provides ingress and egress for properties abutting the tracts and gives the properties the responsibility to maintain the tracts intact. All the assets of The Heights Homeowners Association consisting of ownership of the tracts and money left in the treasury were transferred to Four Seasons Homeowners Association. The maintenance of Tract 14F, the drainage ditch from Davis Road between the Chehalem Schoolyard and back of the lots on Heights Lane, became part of the maintenance responsibility of Four Seasons Homeowners Association along with the other tracts it owns. The area that was once The Heights Homeowners Association is subject now to the CC&Rs of Four Seasons No. 8 and amended CC&Rs for Four Seasons No. 13. The number of sub-homeowners associations in Four Seasons now total three.
Over the years many homeowners have stepped forward to share their expertise by serving on the Board and committees. Due to their efforts, Four Seasons has a reputation of being a well-maintained, attractive and desirable community. Four Seasons Homeowners Association and two sub-homeowner associations, Summerville Square and The Villas, continue to function completely with volunteer homeowners. Crystalbrook has always had and continues to have an active Board; however, it has finally succumbed to the services of a property management company.
A final note:Dwight E. Haugen, the developer of Four Seasons, died November 14, 1999, in Phoenix, AZ. after heart surgery at age 73. His obituary appeared in The Oregonian on November 19, 1999. (Click here for his obituary.)