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Sustainability at Work announces first gold certified business

BPS E-News Issue 14

Sustainability at Work recently named PAE Consulting Engineers its first Portland business to achieve gold certification.  Recognized at Sustainability at Work's highest level of certification, PAE is a leader in helping to make Portland one of the cleanest, most sustainable cities in the country. PAE has completed more than 86 actions to benefit our local economy, our community and our environment.  

"Congratulations to PAE Consulting Engineers on becoming Sustainability at Work's first Gold Certified organization," said Mayor Sam Adams. "We appreciate PAE's leadership in taking concrete actions to make Portland a better place to live and work. We hope that PAE's achievement inspires other businesses to make innovative changes that improve profitability and sustainability."

PAE Consulting Engineers is a 70-person firm that provides an array of services in mechanical and electrical engineering and technology system design, including design or commissioning expertise for more than 75 LEED rated or registered projects so far.  

PAE's significant sustainability achievements include:

  • Attaining a carbon and water neutral office.

  • Aggressively pursuing a 'zero waste' environment through a comprehensive composting and recycling program.  

  • Actively seeking new ways of approaching sustainability, from the design of energy efficient and renewable building systems, to in-house energy reduction through a server and desktop virtualization program.

  • PAE frequently provides in-house staff training, performs waste audits to measure results of their actions, and purchases locally when possible.

Officially launched in August, Sustainability at Work (formerly BEST Business Center) offers comprehensive, free resources for any Portland organization seeking to create a more sustainable work environment.  Sustainability at Work is a one-stop shop for organizations to get help assessing needs, identifying goals, and accessing ongoing resources and support throughout implementation.  

Sustainability at Work offers bronze, silver and gold levels of certification for Portland businesses and organizations based on their levels of achievement.  These certifications recognize and promote business leadership in sustainability and are valid for three years.  

www.sustainabilityatworkpdx.com

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SE 122nd Avenue corridor zoning review meets the needs of community

BPS E-News Issue 14

In 2010, community members and residents along the SE 122nd Avenue corridor indicated that they wanted access to more businesses and amenities, as well as more user-friendly, attractive and safe design elements in multi-family dwellings. During the SE 122nd Avenue Pilot Study, where much of this feedback was gathered, BPS staff made special efforts to engage youth and other under-represented groups in the community.

Now with the new SE 122nd Avenue Rezoning Project, the bureau will prioritize and implement land use recommendations for the area based on the following questions raised during the pilot study:

  • How can 122nd Avenue evolve over time to create a better sense of community and identity?

  • How can the design of new housing in the 122nd Avenue corridor be improved to make it more compatible and attractive and still accommodate growth?

  • Is there a way for 122nd Avenue to support a wider array of local retail and services to create a convenient walkable neighborhood as envisioned by the Portland Plan?

  • What types of changes would create a more healthy and sustainable neighborhood?

Initial emphasis will be given to zone changes that increase the opportunities for neighborhood-scale commercial uses along the southern portion of the 122nd Avenue corridor. Additional consideration will be given to the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Map, and Development Code revisions that support the SE 122nd Avenue Study recommendations for improving multi-dwelling design and compatibility within the study area.

The public will provide input on initial project priorities and advise staff on final recommendations, which will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council for adoption as appropriate.

For more information about the 122nd Avenue Rezoning Project, please visit http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/122ndAve.
 
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Public reviews West Hayden Island Draft Concept Plans

BPS E-News Issue 14

West Hayden Island is home to some of the region's largest tracts of undeveloped open space as well as valuable deep-water terminal capacity. That's why Metro has classified the 800+ acres as both significant environmentally and useful for industrial purposes. In an effort to preserve and enhance both of these assets, City Council directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to develop a concept plan for the island that would include both. During October, BPS and its consultant, Worley Parsons, presented a set of alternative concepts to the public for review and comment that would accommodate no more than 300 acres of marine terminal development and no fewer than 500 acres of open space and natural area on West Hayden Island.

Public outreach kicked off with a presentation to a joint meeting of the City Council and Port Commission on October 12 at the Port offices at the Portland Airport. This was followed by two open houses in North Portland and on Hayden Island, which attracted more than 50 people who wanted to review and discuss the concept plan alternatives. The alternatives addressed four main topic areas: operations, transportation, natural resources and recreation.  

The open houses were followed by a series of office hours that staff held on Hayden Island during the second half of October. These informal meetings allowed community members to drop-in and find out more about the project.  During this time, a virtual open house of the concept plans was posted on the project's website, which gave participants a chance answer questions and provide specific comments on the alternatives online. The comment period on the concept plan alternatives closed on November 7.  

However, the draft concepts are still available for viewing on the project website. For more information, please contact the project planners Rachael Hoy at 503-823-9715 / Rachael.hoy@portlandoregon.gov or Phil Nameny at 503-823-7709 / phil.nameny@portlandoregon.gov.

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Open House at Rigler School draws a large crowd for Cully project

BPS E-News Issue 14

In the ongoing effort to create a more thriving neighborhood main street and a safe, accessible local street system to serve the Cully community, neighbors gathered for the Cully Main Street and Local Street Plans Project open house on Thursday, October 27 at Rigler Elementary School. About 80 community members attended the event, sharing their ideas about the future of their community while they learned about the project to improve the services, amenities, sidewalks and streets in the neighborhood.

Business people, individuals and families joined in, the latter taking advantage of the free childcare provided. Special guests included students from an English for Adult Speakers of Other Languages class that was being held at Rigler School that evening.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability hosted the event, along with our partners at the Portland Bureau of Transportation, to share the results of an existing conditions report and a redevelopment analysis. Staff also sought further clarification about:

  • Where new opportunities for commercial uses along the boulevard area might be.
  • How new development should occur to fit into the neighborhood and support new businesses.
  • What are the most important walking and biking routes in Cully and how streets should be improved.

City staff will incorporate open house and other community comments along with research and analysis to begin developing zoning proposals, new local street designs and funding tools, and other recommendations.

A second public open house for the project will take place in February 2012.

For more information visit the project website at www.portlandonline.com/bps/cullymainstreet and/or contact Debbie Bischoff, project manager, at debbie.bischoff@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-6946.

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Solar Now! University team shares best practices with local governments in rural Oregon

BPS E-News Issue 14

In September, Solar Now! University hosted its second annual train-the-trainer conference in Roseburg, Oregon. More than fifty participants from Pendleton to Medford attended, representing local governments, non-profits, solar advocates, solar installers and utilities.
 
The conference was designed to provide guidance on how to develop local solar energy programs and expand market demand throughout the state of Oregon. Educational sessions included The Basics of Going Solar, Financing Solar on Schools and Public Facilities, Navigating Incentives and Tax Credits, Solar Permitting Resources, Site Evaluation and Tools and the USDA's Renewable Energy for America Program Grants (REAP).

"The City of Portland was excited to provide technical assistance to small Oregon communities that are working to grow local clean energy markets. Beyond promoting renewable energy, these efforts can contribute to the creation of local jobs in areas with high unemployment," said Susan Anderson, director, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Participating communities received two days of training as well as an electronic toolkit handed out on USB drives.

"The City of Portland and its partners do not want communities to have to reinvent the wheel," said Lee Rahr, with Portlandís solar team. "The resources in the toolkit give them a helping hand to run programs that have been proven successful in Portland and Pendleton."

Support for the conference as well as funding for Solar Now's eight regional statewide partners is a result of the United States Department of Energy's Solar America Communities grant award to the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Funding has helped ensure Solar Now's success and plant the seeds of solar energy independence throughout the state of Oregon.
 
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