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New web map makes it easy to find your local farmer

BPS E-News, April 2014

A new map on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s website offers a new tool to find 63 local Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms that deliver fresh food to over 150 drop-off locations in Portland. Some farms even deliver to private addresses. 

farm harvest

Community Supported Agriculture is a relationship between a farmer and member of the community. In a CSA, the community (households that are “shareholders” or “subscribers”) provides the financial support for the season’s farming by purchasing a share of the harvest or becoming a member of the farm. Once harvesting begins, shareholders typically receive weekly shares of seasonal vegetables. Some farms can also include fruit, eggs, dairy, meat and poultry.

"The CSA map is a great new tool for Portland residents to find fresh and healthful food in their own neighborhood while supporting local farmers," said Mayor Charlie Hales.

What is the advantage of buying food from a CSA Farm?

CSA members get the convenience of fresh food delivered to their neighborhood and trying new produce varieties that are grown for our region. In addition, CSA participants directly support the local economy, help protect farmland, and get to know their local farmer.

By committing in advance, shareholders also provide a significant benefit to farms by assuming some of the risk and enabling the farmer to cover up-front operating costs. CSA farming is a less wasteful system, as farmers plant according to their customers’ demands. And farmers get a fair price for their labor by selling directly to consumers.

“It's great to see the City of Portland helping residents connect to local farms providing CSA shares. They are making it easier for Portlanders to connect to the amazing food we produce here in the region and to the farmers who are growing it. Now, folks can see which farms deliver to their neighborhood and learn how to contact those farms directly,” said Josh Volk, Slowhand Farm.

Past Bureau of Planning and Sustainability research shows that the CSA farm model has grown. From 2008 to 2014 the number of CSA farms serving Portland grew from 23 to more than 60. From 2008 to 2012, sales at CSA farms doubled from $1 to $2 million.

Almost 4,000 Portland households support CSA farms. Potential CSA customers should choose their CSA farmer carefully to determine that he/she has the appropriate experience to deliver a diverse array of quality produce throughout the growing season. This list includes farms that deliver produce in the Portland Metro Area. Not all farms serving this area may be included. Inclusion in this list does not imply City of Portland endorsement of any particular CSA farm.

For questions about adding a CSA farm to the map, contact food@portlandoregon.gov.

Local Food Resources

•          Find CSA farms: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/csa

•          Find Portland farmers markets: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/farmersmarkets

•          Learn about Portland Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition (PACSAC)

Solar Forward advances, names Hacienda CDC as next site

BPS E-News, April 2014

Through installation of approximately 2,000 systems by businesses and residents, Portland has seen its local solar electric capacity grow from under 4 MW to over 15 MW in the past five years. BPS’s online Solar Map offers a dynamic way to view the growth and locations of residential and commercial solar installations throughout the metro area over the past decade.

Over the last two years, the clean energy team at BPS has researched various approaches to community solar. In 2013 generous funding from the Oregon Community Foundation’s Penstemon Fund, Portfolio 21 Investments, Portland Development Commission, SolarWorld, Umpqua Bank and Wells Fargo launched the Solar Forward project. Solar Forward is a crowd-sourcing initiative that offers Portlanders a way to support the development of new, clean, local renewable energy.

At a recent media event, Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC) was named as the next solar installation site for Solar Forward. Hacienda CDC is a Latino community development corporation that strengthens families by providing affordable housing, homeownership support, economic advancement and educational opportunities.

The roof of Hacienda’s new futsal court, part of the Ortiz Center, will soon host a 10 kilowatt solar photovoltaic array. The electricity from the system will offset some of the power used for the court’s lights as well as the community center.

“Hacienda has long believed that environmental amenities should be available to Portlanders of all income levels,” said Victor Merced, executive director, Hacienda Community Development Corporation.  “We are excited for the opportunity to build on our commitment to green building in Cully with the addition of this partnership with Solar Forward.”

Next steps for Solar Forward include coordinating a competitive RFP process to select a solar installation contractor later this spring. Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/solarforward to keep up with project news.

Help Solar Forward build more solar in Cully!

Donate at bit.ly/supportsolar  

New SE District Liaison has deep roots in the community

BPS E-News, April 2014

Editor’s Note: As part of the new monthly BPS E-news format, we’ll be including a staff profile in each issue to give readers a more personal look at who we are and what we do. This is the first one.

 

Meet Marty Stockton, who stepped into her new role as Southeast District Liaison with the District Planning team in February 2014. A native Portlander with multigenerational roots in Southeast Portland, Marty has worked as a planner for the City of Portland at BPS and the Bureau of Development Services since 2006, building relationships with community members all over the city.

Since she started working at BPS, Marty has distinguished herself for her work with Portland’s diverse communities, having led the public engagement process for the Portland Plan and now the Comprehensive Plan Update. Her strong commitment to historically underserved communities was recognized in 2012 and 2013 by the Office of Equity and Human Rights’ New Portlanders Program with a “We Are Portland” award for engaging newcomer communities.

As a district liaison, Marty said she is “committed to working with Southeast Portland communities to navigate both the preservation and redevelopment efforts in the process of creating vibrant neighborhoods.” She serves as a technical advisor and resource to Southeast Portland neighbors, organizations, businesses and institutions and meets with two or three neighborhood groups per week. The district spans from the Willamette River to the I-205 freeway, and from I-84 to Portland’s southern border. BPS employs 6 other District Liaisons who play a similar role in other parts of the city, including two for the Central City.

Marty and her family have deep roots in Portland, reaching back to when her great-grandfather emigrated here a century ago from Germany. “Rumor has it that my great-grandmother was one of the first women to hit a hole-in-one at the Eastmoreland Golf Course,” Marty claims. Her childhood memories of Southeast Portland include gardening on her family’s leased plot in Ladd’s Addition, “where my brother and I use to walk to the Ladd’s Circle corner store for popsicles.”

As a child she would drive with her mother through SE Portland to get to her aunt’s house in Montavilla. “As long as I can remember, Portland has been changing – some of it good, some of it bad,” she reminisces. “I became a planner because I wanted to make a difference in the way the city grows.” 

Having lived in several different Portland neighborhoods, she currently resides in Northeast with her husband and two daughters.

To reach Marty, call 503-823-2041 or email marty.stockton@portlandoregon.gov

Public hearing on short-term rental code improvements — and more — on April 22

BPS E-News, April 2014

Did you know the City has a program to make ongoing improvements to the zoning code, even while we’re updating the longer range Comprehensive Plan? This process of making small fixes on a regular basis is called RICAP, short for the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package process.

Last summer, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) approved a work plan for the sixth Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package process – or RICAP 6. In January, staff released a Discussion Draft for public review and response. While RICAP 6 includes more than 40 code amendments based on public requests, including improvements to wireless facilities and construction staging regulations, the proposed new regulations around short-term rentals have generated the most interest among Portlanders.

cell tower

Recently, BPS released the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 6 (RICAP 6): Proposed Draft, which updates the Discussion Draft and will be considered by the PSC at a public hearing on April 22, 2014.

The Proposed Draft has been refined based on the many comments received over a seven-week outreach period, including numerous meetings with neighborhood associations and district coalitions. A summary memo of the feedback on the initial short-term rental proposal captures the key ideas in support of and opposition to the proposed code amendments and contains staff’s responses to questions and concerns.

Portland seeks a long-term solution to short-term rentals

Recently, there has been a dramatic increase all over the world in the number of residences being rented informally on a short-term basis through internet sites like Airbnb and HomeAway (peer-to-peer rentals). In Portland, for example, Airbnb’s listings have jumped from 107 in January 2011 to more than 1,550 today. The most common listings are from hosts who live on their property and offer a bedroom for rent on a nightly basis in their home. This is a new way of providing visitor lodging accommodations, and many cities are determining how to regulate these new short-term rentals. We looked at New York, San Francisco, Cannon Beach, Ashland and Austin, Texas, among others, to help us create new regulations that fit our unique community.  

In Portland, rentals of fewer than 30 days are considered short-term, and renting up to five bedrooms is allowed through the Bed and Breakfast Facilities chapter of the Zoning Code. But this process (a Type II Conditional Use Review) is expensive and time consuming, and it doesn’t fit the scale of the smaller, more informal peer-to-peer-type rentals.

The proposed amendments offer one- and two-bedroom short-term rental operators a less expensive and faster process, while ensuring that surrounding neighbors are notified of the new activity.

On Tuesday, April 8, staff briefed the PSC on the proposed short-term rental code regulations, including an amendment to address safety concerns raised during the comment period. Testimony on the entire RICAP 6 package will be taken at the public hearing on April 22, with testimony and commission deliberation on the proposed short-term rental regulations following testimony on the remainder of the RICAP 6 proposals.

Public Hearing on RICAP 6

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission – Public Hearing

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 6 – 9 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Ave, 2nd Floor, Room 2500A 

Neighborhood cleanup events kick off Earth Month, with a community focus

BPS E-News, April 2014

Spring cleaning season is here, with a focus on Earth Day in Portland. Neighborhoods all across Portland hold cleanup events to give residents a chance to reduce waste and unwanted clutter from their homes, basements or garages.

neighborhood book swap

There are 47 neighborhood cleanup events scheduled throughout Portland during the spring months. Accepted materials at cleanups vary. Materials typically include bulky items like furniture, mattresses and appliances, hard-to-recycle materials, scrap metal, building materials and wood.

Neighborhood cleanups prioritize and promote both recycling and reuse over throwing away. Volunteers from neighborhood associations coordinate these events and have been offering more options for reuse and swapping at the events every year. Last year, 33 neighborhood cleanups incorporated onsite reuse options, allowing neighbors to take, swap or buy items immediately. 

The seven Neighborhood Coalitions have listings of the scheduled cleanup events by neighborhood association.

Find contact information for your neighborhood association from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement or call 503-823-4519.

Contact the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 503-823-7202 for possible cleanup dates, locations, costs and accepted materials.

Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day at Portland’s largest community celebration on Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The free event takes place in Kenton Park in North Portland and has something for everyone: Live music, entertainment, kids’ activities and information tables from a variety of organizations and businesses

Heartbleed Security Notice

A serious security vulnerability known as "Heartbleed" was recently discovered in OpenSSL, a popular software library commonly used by many websites on the internet to encrypt communication between a user's computer and a web server.

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