Plastic bag ban?

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The Surfrider Foundation “Ban the Bag” Coalition has asked the NWDA to support a ban or mandatory fee on single-use plastic bags in Portland.  They believe that this policy will encourage people to shop with reusable bags and promote environmental sustainability in our region.

They already have the following supporters:

  • Leave No Plastic Behind
  • Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition
  • Food Front Grocery
  • Wend Magazine
  • Friends of Forest Park
  • Audubon Society of Portland
  • Oregon Environmental Council
  • Pacific Marine Conservation Council
  • Willamette Riverkeeper
  • Rachel’s Friends Breast Cancer Coalition
  • Colin Meloy, The Decemberists
  • Spot Acupuncture Clinic
  • Laughing Planet Cafe

Please comment on this effort.

Planning Minutes – 05/21/09

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NWDA Planning Cte 5 21 09

John Bradley, Ron Walters, Don Genasci, Roger Vrilakas, Bill Welch, Kim Carlson, Stephen Metzler, Greg Theisen, Juliet Hyams, Allan Classen; Erik ? (neighbor, developer?)

Peter Englander, PDC; Bob Alexander, Special Projects, PDC. Looking at possible URA in West Central Portland.

Alexander–study expanded to look at areas adjacent to downtown URA’s, 900 acres PSU through Goose Hollow To Conway.

Bradley–we wanted to discuss other URA’s and how they worked, and how this current process will lay out. Amanda Fritz told us earlier this week that there was a new advisory group, including Ted Wheeler who suggested that instead of looking first at how to do a URA, the question should be whether a plan was needed on the west side.
Englander–Bruce Allen, our Guru for PDCs, is in Africa right now. I have some experience, as does Bob Alexander. I think you’ll get different perspectives from different people about how other URAs have worked. Encourages committee to talk with people in neighborhoods where these have been applied. We can give you technical answers about increase in assessed values. It has by a large amount. Has it increased livability in the city? Yes, people think so.

Involvement in the different Light Rail projects have been good, Lents town center has been slow to move but it is, there was lots of community involvement in the Interstate URA. My work was on central eastside and downtown. You need to get a sense of how this has worked in different neighborhoods. Our engagement with neighborhood stakeholders has increased considerably, as have our budgets for this component.

Alexander–regarding the new committee’s charge: first to determine if we will have a new URA, then if so, where would the boundaries be, agreement on mission and value of the district, what you want to achieve, which areas will be included based on this, then to actual dollar amount. Chair Wheeler made it obvious to everyone that it’s not just about where, but if. This is up in the air, will be looked at over the next five months.
Bradley–what are the specifics of how you, PDC, will come up with your recommendations to the committee? For example, the definition of blight, the current economic climate, small businesses being more than just real estate development and your relatively small proportion of support to small businesses.
Englander–1. How will we go about this? 2. What is blight? 3. Given that economic development is an important component & how much goes to small business (grants and loans).

1. At the first meeting we didn’t talk about this much, it was to educate people about what a URA is.
What should the overall guiding goals be if we do a URA? To do specific projects we have to conform to area plans including the URA plan. What we propose to do first as staff supporting the committee was to focus on the goals, attempt to focus on four categories 1 Economic Development/Job Creation; 2 Housing; 3 Infrastructure (parks, roads rails); 4 to tie these together and bring in other categories including those unique to central city–cultural district, schools, retail in the downtown core keeping retail.

City’s latest attempt at economic development strategy seems likely to be adopted by City Council, focus on areas important to Portland like green development. Infrastructure will follow. Then we’ll go out in particular quadrants of the 900 acre area talking about the possibilities in each. The NW quadrant is essentially N. of Burnside W. of I-405. Slabtown & Conway, then Goose Hollow, and we divided the downtown into two chunks.
We’ll talk with NWDA, ConWay, Goose Hollow who will talk directly with the committee.
Will hold two workshops out in the community, with a different approach to education people about URA’s and what they can do.
We’ll come back to get to the questions, what URA’s can do in the modern age (it’s changed) are there other tools, can these be leveraged? Goal is to come up with recommendation, and if so what goals are to be achieved. IF we go ahead, September through March, and a public process to create the URA itself.

Re the Committee–it’s unique in how it meshes public officials with a wide variety of people with a stake in the neighborhoods and some who don’t . E.G. Jay Nichols, CEO Leatherman Tools, people for higher education, business interests. This is more of a mix of people than previous groups.

Hyams–didn’t see a roster in her binder. Will each have an alternate? Alexander–we will soon, a couple of people weren’t confirmed. Yes, we are going to have designated alternates.

Hyams–how will we know when we’ve gotten to a decision? What if we don’t want a URA? Alexander–we’ll go around the room getting key issues, will then research and respond on technical issues for following meeting. Various alternatives may be mapped out, as in prior process. The question will be why NWDA doesn’t want a URA–is it not in their area, or not at all–there would be different answers depending on the reasons.

Bradley–for our district the report shows this would be the area where you would raise the most tax increment dollars, but there may be the most cost for infrastructure (which we don’t know.) Alexander–ECONorthwest looked at that and showed this area as most productive of tax increment dollars, but this URA would be a single area, no subareas. Bradley–assuming we want a URA, we could see a net sucking of resources out of this area to support other portions. Goose Hollow wants a Main Street, PSU a tech High School, Ted Wheeler for projects. Needs hard nosed analysis, cart before the horse when we don’t first know what this would give to the city re econ plan, 20 minute neighborhoods–sees squishy decision then rationalization.
Alexander–I chose to do economic study first: areas are shown on the map what’s likely to develop in the next 20 years. There are some ideas for Goose Hollow, for example, but no real dollar proposals, and this is true of the other areas at this stage. We know we have a large number of demands on dollars in a URA that don’t create an increment, such as the Streetcar.
Take NW area, one could expect tax increment but also projects, and the dollars are not kept in each sequestered area. The downtown area has more increment than the other areas combined, if I were a business person there I’d be worried that those dollars would be sucked out to Goose Hollow and NW.

Walters–doesn’t see figures matching this claim.
Alexander–the area north of Market 2.4 billion in assessed value, some URAs claim some of this but over time this has the largest amount of growth. If you start with an undeveloped area like ConWay the value increase is the greatest.
Metzler–are several smaller URAs feasible? Alexander–we’ve been advised by our financial folks that one large district would from a bond underwriter’s POV a larger single one works best. Large is relative: 900 acres here, 2700 acres in Lents, 3000 Interstate. It becomes less financially feasible for small areas. In NY there are some small, precise districts but that requires a 70-story tower to support another small area.

Could draw inner boundaries but it limits flexibility.
Theisen–Juliet Hyams is on the committee representing a larger organization. In terms of the element of the decision-making process and my experience in other URAs–in Portland it’s property and property-value driven process. There’s a list of wants, project list wishes that are real estate, value and job driven: do you suggest we put together our list? How do you value one want over another? For example senior living needs vs streetcar?

Alexander–arm your representative with your list of needs, we want to come up with that list fairly soon. Threshold question–if a district is formed, what are the priorities. It’s real estate driven because that’s how it works, but that said there are funds in each URA for programming, not tied to the map. We have to define, list large, known projects by statute.

Englander–If not the right tool, it can shape the area to make it conducive to a particular business environment. We’ve been pretty darn creative how we use the real estate tool to support businesses. Often the largest line item (rent) and we try and address those as best we can, with storefront support, creating environments that result in lower rents, tenant improvement programs over a five to ten year period.
We feel so strongly about this, we changed departments so not about Urban Renewal per se but business development. UR has not always been helpful, agencies around the country have done some pretty dumb things, but especially in today’s age with convergence of economic development and Central City planning, we can figure out how we want to do this for the next generation–this is our chance to lay out what central Portland looks like for the next 20 years. We had Chet Orloff come talk about the history of the city, plans and urban renewal. We have fewer plans but much better ability to implement them. Prior to 1950 rich people hired people from outside to design their city; since then it’s local with more involvement from different groups, Portland has done a pretty good job of this.
We would have like to do the Central City Plan first, then look at UR. UR takes a long time to work, it’s a 20 year process, and if we wait we won’t have the resources soon. We often don’t think about how UR can be used for placemaking: we’re so much out there working with the folks it affects the most, with the caveat that City Council has control of this now. As a manager who’s out in the neighborhoods a lot and he continually tells the powers that be what the neighborhoods want.
Theisen–re planning cart before urban renewal horse, we have a plan. Alexander–use that plan as base for your project requests. Genasci–we have preferred densities, but if overwhelmed by UR these could double, which is what is driving ConWay. What is the interplay? Alexander–UR can’t trump zoning and planning, you have to work that out with the planning department. Can cap using existing zoning, so URA is a moot point.
Hyams–that’s where neighborhood and citizen participation come in. Wheeler said people are looking from Europe at our plans, the difference is the amount of citizen participation.
Englander–yes, in Downtown Waterfront URA, in OTCT there was an interest by developers whether height/FAR density could be increased. We looked at it, because UR money was ending. 4 story 75’ buildings in historic district would have to raise value, so we looked at increasing density. Citizen involvement resulted in the neighborhood supported increased density but so many other people wanted to preserve the historic district that we aren’t looking at increasing density and are working to develop a way to do this.
There were developers on both sides, and my personal opinion is that higher density is dead.

Welch–ConWay originally supported the density in our neighborhood plan but now want to change that.
Genasci–this puts pressure on the city to open this up.

Erik–speaking from developer’s POV, the focus on saving structures in the historic district preserves the residence and transfers the FAR, is one example of how this neighborhood has preserved historic character. Looking closer to the freeway the increase in height to shield the freeway is another example of how you can make both the neighborhood and the developers happy. Makes things feasible while preserving area, good groundwork to build upon in the form of incentives. The land isn’t cheap, which is what has driven ConWay to build taller, Kulongoski’s program to subsidize via grant money can offset this.

Alexander–needs to leave, but is available to come back anytime.

Bradley–now is good time to digest this, begin to look at a project list and a number of variables.

Alexander–we’ll be putting all the pieces on the website, Chet Orloff’s presentation, Mondays 101 etc.

Englander–encourages people to sign up for this projects distribution list.

Genasci–Announces 6 pm meeting June 4 First Thursday student projects presentation for ConWay area. The students are well aware of the NW Plan. Can give Ron Walters project disc to put earlier (and these) projects on the website.
Is there a need for another look at that material next year? I’ll have another winter/spring class of 5 to 7 students who could look at this.

Walters–would like that, could work with us instead of just seeing the result at the end of the class.
Genasci–could be part of the public process, graphically illustrate what people are talking about. Their availability will be January through June 2010.

Theisen–I work in Old Town with office looking out at the river, I see the geese flying by, and wonder why more people don’t live along the river. Seeing condos come up as great places to live. So many things that happen on development side are personality-driven by developers. We tend to think of them as institutional, but they are often individual, based on financing, property value and many characteristics. Let’s not forget this as we get involved in the URA project list. These don’t have to be huge or institutional, but about people with the money and the vision.

Bradley–I’ve been impressed by the area around the Ace Hotel, the Commons, boutiques.

Erik –The thing about the market now is that three or four years ago you could bring 20% equity to the table; if there was a way now to steer projects in a different direction it should be happening, you need 45%-50% equity and the projects are moving forward with grants, and these have stipulations. Those grantors can influence the projects, tenant mix, apartments rather than condos. There are more players deciding what a project will look like, tremendous opportunity to have input.

Vrilakas–seemed from PDC that if we stuck to the NW District Plan this would work. It doesn’t work this way.

Board Minutes – April 20, 2009

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Members Present:
Juliet Hyams, Greg Aldrich, Dan Anderson, Brian Bramlett, Kim Carlson, Bud Clark, Tavo Cruz, Rachel Cody, Perry Heitman, Noel Johnson, Jeff Love, Steve Pinger, Scott Seibert, Ron Walters

Members Not Present:
Sharon Kelly (excused)
Stephen Metzler (excused)

Call to Order
• at 600p by President Juliet Hyams

Call of the Roster
• as noted above
• also in attendance: Mark Sieber, NWNW; Allan Classen, NW Examiner; Pete Colt; Lee Stapleton; Sandra Stapleton; John Bradley; Sharon Genasci; Carol Wells; Michael Marino; Mary Peveto.

Prior Board Minutes
Motion 12.02, S. Seibert: approve March minutes with corrections as discussed, P. Heitman second;
• Motion 12.02 approved

President’s Report
• Elections Committee report:
• All sitting Board members are running for re-election;
• D. Saltzman meeting:
• listened to NWDA view to Conway re-development, will follow-up on NWDA letter

Treasurer’s Report

Health and Environment Committee Report
• Chapman School air quality, S. Genasci:
• ESCO 5-year permit renewal in process, H&EC would like to fund ~15 additional samples;
Motion 12.02, K. Carlson: approve H&EC fundraising, G. Aldrich second;
• L. Stapleton: are grants allowed?
• J. Bradley: contact Reed College regarding related work;
• S. Seibert: OSU analyzed air quality at community garden site;
• S. Pinger; would Chapman ES be a site?
• Motion 12.02 approved
• M. Peveto: providing horizontal outreach role in connection to vertical findings, mediate Chapman ES and industrial neighbors, review effectiveness of regulatory agencies, goal of implementing available technologies that are currently not required;
• S. Seibert: goal top keep industrial neighbors, but clean-up

Public Safety Committee Report

Parks and Recreation Committee Report

Transportation Committee Report
• NDP Remand, K. Carlson:
• City anticipates that current zoning in Transportation Plan does not accommodate changes to base zoning at Con-way site, impacts would need to be zero, or paid for by Con-way;
• J. Bradley: Level of Service rated at “E”, will be “F” by 2020. no detail provided;
• S. Seibert: ODOT position? No unanticipated impacts at this time;
• Cornell Coalition meeting:
• goal to preserve Forest Park from traffic impacts of increased development

Planning Committee Report
• NWD Remand Appeal, J. Bradley:
• Appeal ruling suggests that NDP looses standing, NW Policy Plan (1977) would be in effect, along with the Alphabet Historic District and the Transition Area Plan (2001);
• R. Walters: NWDA position on prevailing planning instruments?
• J. Bradley: parking structures in clear conflict with NPP;
• L. Stapleton: will CoP appeal LUBA decision?
Motion 12.09, S. Seibert: identify standing of planning documents as above and write letter to CoP declaring them as basis for NWDA actions, J. Love second;
• S. Pinger: NWDA should keep the NDP in effect until told otherwise;
• S. Seibert: resolution will force the City to take a position;
• Motion 12.09 approved

Old Business
• Irving St. Garage Appeal status, J. Love:
• NDP is predicate to parking ordinance;
• parking ordinance could stand alone per LUBA;
• neither City nor the public understood the parking ordinance to be separate;
• parking uses in clear conflict with the NPP;
• appeal to BoA has reasonable chance of success;
• P. Heitman: are current arguments reinforced by the NPP?
• J. Love: fact based arguments only, what is predicate?
• T. Cruz: what posture if appeal is successful?
• J. Love: City Council would have to re-pass NDP;
• J. Bradley: appeal would negate garage either way;
Motion 12.10A, S. Seibert: authorize appeal to CoA and costs, S. Pinger second;
• N. Johnson: lack of clarity effects ability to work in concert with developers;
• Motion 12.10A approved

• Public Safety Committee work plan:
Motion 12.10B, S. Pinger: suspend Public Safety Committee activities per Motion 11.04 from March Board meeting, K. Carlson second;
• R. Walters: action needs to be consistent with all committees;
• Motion 12.10B approved

New Business
• NWDA Bylaws revisions, Tavo Cruz:
• K. Carlson: communications committee or coordinator? Include coordinator on Executive Committee;
• S. Seibert: committee service of board members can include ad hoc relationships and liaisons:
Motion 12.11, D. Anderson: 1) To amend Tavo Cruz’ draft of suggested amendments to NWDA’s By Laws to allow Board Members’ service as Communications Coordinator or in a sustained ad hoc task assigned by the NWDA President to count toward the Members’ obligation to serve on a committee, and; 2) To recommend to the Membership that the so amended version of Tavo Cruz’ draft By Law amendments be approved when considered for approval at the May 2009 general membership meeting, K. Carlson second;
• Motion 12.11 approved

Staff Report

Announcements

Adjourn
• at 730p by President Juliet Hyams

Motions Summary:

MOTION 12.03 approve March minutes with corrections as discussed.

MOTION 12.05 approve H&EC fundraising.

MOTION 12.09 identify standing of planning documents as above and write letter to CoP declaring them as basis for NWDA actions.

MOTION 12.10A authorize appeal of Irving St. Garage to Court of Appeals and applicable costs.

MOTION 12.10B suspend Public Safety Committee activities per Motion 11.04 from March Board meeting.

MOTION 12.11 1) To amend Tavo Cruz’ draft of suggested amendments to NWDA’s By Laws to allow Board Members’ service as Communications Coordinator or in a sustained ad hoc task assigned by the NWDA President to count toward the Members’ obligation to serve on a committee, and; 2) To recommend to the Membership that the so amended version of Tavo Cruz’ draft By Law amendments be approved when considered for approval at the May 2009 general membership meeting.

Voting Summary:

MOTIONs 12.03, 12.05, and 12.11 passed unanimously.

MOTION 12.09 approved by a vote of 11-2. Steve Pinger and Ron Walters voted NO.

MOTION 12.10A approved by a vote of 12-1. Ron Walters voted NO.

MOTION 12.10B approved by a vote of 9-4. Greg Aldrich, Brian Bramlett, Noel Johnson, and Ron Walters voted NO.

Planning Minutes – 05/14/09

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NWDA Planning Cte 05 14 2009

John Bradley, Brian Bramlett, Don Genasci, Roger Vrilakas, Bill Welch, Ron Walters, Steve Pinger, Lee Stapleton, Allan Classen

Bradley–Type II 800 NW 25th CU review, R1, alter the site of previous LUR which approved changes to Hillside Residence, 26-bed convalescent home. Lots also 2455 NW Johnson, & 3 on Kearney, four residences. Seeking to sell these and reduce.
Non-conforming review goes through Type II, no net increase in impacts, trips, smoke, glare, litter, outside displays or storage etc. Not lessen residential character of R zone.
Not detract from character of the zone.

Marty Stiven, Land Use Planner, Jim Mertz, Ken Buckles with Willamette View. WV operated Hillside until July, now wish to sell the side residences, and therefore need to modify the CU to remove that encumbrance. Would still allow operation of Willamette View as 26-bed facility. Current construction is not related to this app–fire damage repair and required mitigation of share sewer lines. BES required this prior to any modifications to the CU.

Has had one phone call with questions from resident.
Bradley–Our main concern is will there be any change in the operation of the facility?
Stiven–this action doesn’t change anything, limits on beds etc. stay the same. If a new operator took over, any change over $X would trigger non-conforming development standards (such as stormwater improvements.) CU goes with the land, not the operator.
Willamette View has put agreement obligation to buy the properties, but they’ll sell them immediately. Was meant to operate for ten years, then purchase, but we asked for an early out.

Stapleton–believes the original CU was based on the size, doesn’t this reduction lower the number of allowed beds? Believes the total number of beds were tied to the entire parcel size.
Stiven–did operate with 26 beds, understood the beds were tied to the facility not the adjacent properties. Did not understand that the number of beds was tied to the total size of the combined properties.

Bradley–Also unclear to us what can be built on the Single Family Home lots, due to the NW District Plan remand which seems to say it’s not in effect. I don’t know whether this affects this property.

Welch–you are selling the four homes as such, to be fixed up.
Mertz–Correct. One is SF home, other is a triplex, have been used that way. Property is under one ownership. One buyer was interested in all the pieces, but no longer, so now must separate the parcels. Plan to market individually.
Stiven–this action would remove the four houses from conditional use, though they have never been used this way.
Genasci–it’s an R1 zone which could make for much greater density.
Bradley–but under the ’77 plan the zoning was defined differently (even if equivalent to R1) and the plan prefers SFH. That said, splitting off the lots brings the use back to base zone.

Mertz–most of the conversion to triplexes cosmetic, can be restored. One potential buyer wants to do a single home, another to retain a triplex.

Welch–my memory is that the Edelman’s acquired the property in anticipation of growth, but didn’t.

Stapleton–may have purchased in order to increase CU capacity in adjacent facility.

Vrilakas–despite these questions, I think this is good thing both for increasing the housing stock and retaining convalescent home.

Moves that the Committee support the CU modification. Welch seconds. Bradley suggests asking if the capacity is tied to the inclusion of these properties.

Vrilakas–also would like to see the 26-bed size even in the reduced size.

Mertz–I think some leeway in number of beds would be good, we had trouble operating even at 26 beds. It’s a small facility and hard to run at an affordable rate structure.

Pinger–is the objective of this committee to allow the removal of the four lots but not reduce the capacity of the underlying facility? Yes.

Bradley–will write the letter saying we understand the remaining facility will operate at 26 beds.

All in favor, Welch not voting.

Bradley–URA. Yesterday a discussion, Steve Pinger, Kim Carlson, Ron Walters, Bradley attended. Mayoral appointed study committee will begin to look at total URA for Westside. Too large now in total acreage, but could take 1000 acres out of Airport URA. City is allowed 15% total appraised value total URA’s, now at 11%, so would need to be shrunk. Current ‘dumbbell’ shaped, including ConWay, PGE Park, Goose Hollow, some Downtown, South of Market (up to med school).

There’s a mod being crafted for how URA money is divided. Was applied to city bonding capacity for 20-year period and revenue stream restored. This leaves out the County and School Districts, so a bill has now passed the house and going to the state Senate, Fair Share Bill 457, will modify how the URA occurs over time. The base zone is there, development starts; at certain value increase a new cut is taken off the top, that 3% goes back to revenue stream, again at 10%, divided in accordance to the existing tax base for the area. (Division of property taxes.)

The costs are not included, and greatest costs appear to be associated with the ConWay area. Not clear how we arrive at those public costs for the whole area, or what projects are needed. Question as to whether the ConWay area is blighted. Loose definition, includes what we think is blight (run down abandoned homes) to disproportionate land value, many parking lots, and lack of public service.

Is ConWay blighted? Does it need money? Pinger–would ConWay embark on development without URA funds? Tried to raise the question that the area described in the URA area has had about a dozen proposed prior to consideration of URA, are they now stalled because of the possibility of URA $? In the old days only areas without hope of any development were the recipients of URA funds.

Genasci–how would we assess this?

Welch–isn’t the question to ask what kind of development would we get without URA, and impact on neighborhood vs. if there is URA $?

Pinger–the eval committee needs to look at what happens if we allow districts to expire and put property back on the tax rolls? Only a small portion of property that has gone into UR has come out of it (most are renewed.)

Revenue sharing: the excesses above the trigger points are released.
Bradley–also under review is how URA $ can benefit school districts. Pinger–in old days they were considered a separate taxing authority and exempt from URA funding.

Bradley–role of NAs: representation on Mayoral Steering Committee (will be Juliet) Alan Beard will be rep for Goose Hollow Foothills League.

Pinger–was involved in formation of Pearl URA. Development was underway privately before this, and there was a question to the NA whether they wanted to do this or not, was the first URA with a real residential constituency. Now the areas under consideration are different.
Bradley– Do we want the money is a simple question, but if we had a bucket of money, what would we want? Green Streets, Vaughn/I-405, Community Center/Park. Who wants to see a streetcar go down 18th-19th?

Welch–a streetcar to an off-ramp?

Pinger–Juliet as the NA rep needs good direction and we all need to be well informed to ask good questions. Suggests round table meetings about this, go to meetings and inform ourselves better.

Vrilakas–set up the starting point as “if there is a URA…” so we don’t debate that part in developing a plan for what to do if it does happen.

Bradley–Goose Hollow has already decided that they are in favor of the URA. They want to make Goose Hollow into a Town Center.

We will devote some meetings to general discussion of URA’s and some ‘if-then’ proposals.

Trans. Minutes – May 6, 2009

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May Transportation Committee meeting
Wed. May 6, 2009
6:00pm

Members present: Kim Carlson, Scott Siebert, Jeanne Harrison, Sharon Kelly, Bud Clark, Joel Weishaus, Charlie Grist, Devin Liebmann, Greg Aldrich

Guests: John Bradley, Courtney Duke, Ron Walters, Dustin Posner, Brian Sheehan, Juliet Hyams, Mark Sieber, Josie Reznik, Don Singer, Allan Classen

Remand: A big thank you goes out to Jeanne Harrison who worked with the City staff to obtain more clarity about the pending report and did a fantastic job presenting it at the meeting. City staff will fine tune a “draft final” report and Brian Sheehan will send Jeanne and me the weblink when it is available for everyone to view and comment. We also requested that Brian send us the steps for adopting the report as final and, if available, a timeline.

The committee expressed a desire:
1. for more specifics on the transportation changes made since the first rating to result in these upgrades;
2. for more information on the model is desired; and
3. to know what the different levels of service mean.

Garage on 26th: Charlie Grist moved, Bud Clark seconded, to send a recommendation to the NWDA Board to support the Appeal of the zero setback on the proposed garage because of safety concerns. The motion carried (8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention)

Proposed Urban reserve in Washington County: A group of 8 meeting attendees agreed to sign a letter drafted by Kim Carlson to the Multnomah County Reserves Citizens Advisory Committee expressing expansion of urban reserves North of Highway 26 because we know it results in an increase in traffic congestion through our neighborhood.  Click here to read the letter (Word document).

Scott Siebert moved, Devin Liebmann seconded, to send a recommendation to the NWDA Board to support the position described in the attached letter. The motion carried (7 in favor, 0 opposed, 0 abstensions)

Cornell Coalition: Dustin Posner, neighbor and resident on Cornell, will attend Cornell Coalition meetings and report back to this committee when decisions from it are needed.

Support OLCC Legislation

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Support legislation that will expand Oregon Liquor Control Commission ability to address problem liquor establishments.

The House of Representatives will be voting on HB – 3201-1A on Tuesday May 5th, 2009.

WHAT IS HB 3201-A?
This bill provides the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) with the ability to impose restrictions on a liquor license if an establishment is deemed to be having serious or persistent problems. This new tool will enable communities, the OLCC and establishments to work together to gain control of issues before they get out of hand.

WHY DO WE NEED HB 3201-A?
Currently, state laws allow for a history of “serious and persistent” problems at a liquor establishment to be used as grounds for suspension or cancellation of a liquor license. The specific definition associated with “serious and persistent,” however, has only been vaguely defined. When a serious incident occurs at a liquor serving establishment, such as a shooting, stabbing, or sexual assault, often no administrative action is taken. Similarly, when a bar has persistent problems involving livability that do not result in serious harm, no administrative action can address them. The bar for “serious and persistent” has been set too high.

A small minority of problem liquor establishments demand a disproportionate amount of local and state resources to respond to these issues. Such cases can have a significant negative impact on immediate neighbors, and the business community at large. Such cases, although few, need to be addressed in a more timely manner.

HB 3201-A puts a new tool in the OLCC’s enforcement toolbox by giving the agency the ability to place RESTRICTIONS on a liquor license as necessary in addressing a serious OR persistent problem. In practice, this will enable communities and the OLCC greater ability to work hand-in-hand with problem establishments to address an issue before it gets out of hand; resulting in an even greater burden to the surrounding communities, and eventually resulting in license cancellation.

The City of Portland recognizes liquor establishments as inherently welcoming to the public, as well as having the potential to greatly enrich the neighborhoods they serve. The City feels this change is essential to addressing problem locations more quickly to lessen the harm to their patrons and communities and the businesses themselves.

You may view the bill by clicking on this link:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measpdf/hb3200.dir/hb3201.a.pdf

WE NEED YOUR HELP!
HB 3201-A has moved out of the House Business and Labor Committee and will be coming before the House of Representatives for a floor vote on May 5th. What can you do?

Call or email your legislator! Contact your elected Representative and let them know that you care about HB 3201-A and want to see it pass. If you choose to email your state Representative, please copy Matt Jaffe from the City’s Office of Government Relations at matthew.jaffe@ci.portlandor.us. Don’t know who your state Representative is or need their contact information? You can find all of that here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

Thank Legislators for their support! HB 3201-A is sponsored by Representative Kotek, Representative Esquivel, and Representative Shields. Please take a moment to thank these legislators for their support of HB 3201-A. Contact information for these legislators may be found on the legislative website at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/house/

If you have any questions or would like a sample letter of support and/or a one-page summary of the bill, please call or email Matt Jaffe in the Office of Government Relations. His email address is matthew.jaffe@ci.portlandor.us and phone number is (503) 823-8450. Additionally, please send Matt a copy of any e-mail and/or support letters you send to legislators. Thank you!

Theresa Marchetti
Liquor Licensing Specialist – ONI
1221 SW 4th Ave Ste 110
Portland OR 97204
503-823-3092

– Posted by Ron Walters