Community Involvement Committee
Meeting Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2013
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Committee Members present: Paula Amato, Jason Barnstead-Long, Denise Barrett, Christina Blaser, Lois Cohen, Jessica Conner, Kenneth Doswell, Linda Nettekoven, Peter Stark, Jovan Young.
Absent: Judy BlueHorse Skelton, Anyeley Hallova, Stanley Penkin, Howard Shapiro, Laura Stewart, Alison Stoll.
Staff: Eden Dabbs, Madeline Kovacs, Deborah Stein, Marty Stockton.
Visitors: Daniel Trubman (CBO)
Marty Stockton, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, led the meeting.
Marty announced that she will be transitioning to the position of SE District liaison, but will continue to support the CIC. Marty also noted that the upcoming CPU Proposed Plan public release in July presents an opportunity to re-invigorate the public involvement process. She also informed the committee that a consultant has been hired to assist with CPU public involvement and communications. Marty shared scheduled CIC meetings, Mixed Use Zone Project community walks, and the upcoming Campus Institutional Zoning advisory committee meeting (included at the end of these meeting notes). Peter Stark announced the Central City 2035 - SE Quadrant Plan’s two-day charrette scheduled on June 3rd and 4th at 1900 SW 4th Avenue on the 7th Floor. Linda shared that on June 11, there will be a multi panel discussion on neighborhood demolitions. Issues covered related to demolitions will be wide ranging, from notification procedures to disposal/recycling of materials.
Comprehensive Plan Update: Process Update
Deborah Stein, Eden Dabbs, and Marty Stockton gave an overview for committee members of the upcoming CPU Proposed Plan release, public outreach, and implementation projects. Over the summer and fall, as the project transitions into the legislative process, staff will be helping prepare community members present to feedback to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and to City Council in the form of testimony at public hearings. Jovan Young asked about the location of these hearings, and Marty and Deborah answered that some will be held downtown, and that others will be in neighborhoods/areas with many proposed changes. Final selections have not been made.
Lois Cohen mentioned that she appreciates these efforts to engage under-represented people in the city, and that during this phase staff could perhaps consider another filter when prioritizing outreach options: Who has not been engaged in the CPU process so far?
Eden mentioned that the criteria used to evaluate consultants hired to assist with outreach for the CPU release prioritized the consultant’s ability to identify and help reach under-represented and/or under-served communities.
Marty also shared that, through incorporating feedback and lessons learned during the Portland Plan process, stipends for participants have been written into the contract. Lois cautioned that it may be wise to be careful about the criteria used to determine who is paid for their participation, and how they are paid: Stipends directly for public transportation, gas, or childcare may be a better approach. We don’t always know people’s circumstances, and we don’t want to assume. Deborah and Marty thanked Lois for her feedback, and agreed that we need to further discuss how best to facilitate participation while reducing barriers in the best way possible. One suggestion was to partner with existing nonprofits or neighborhood associations. Eden also shared that the Community Engagement Liaison program through the Office of Equity and Human Rights is one option being considered.
Lois asked if any funds have been designated for translation services. Marty responded that this is a core service that the City should continue to provide, and that the CPU consultant will help make decisions regarding which documents are most usefully translated into which language(s).
Deborah then presented a working draft plan for information and publicity regarding the CPU proposed plan so far, including tailored outreach strategies. She pointed out that some people will be receiving notification for the first time, while other groups and people have been very engaged so far. Deborah explained why BPS is interested in early notification in advance of official notification required by state law, mostly in the interest of allowing ample time for people to contact staff with questions. Finally, Deborah discussed the four main types of map changes, and that four postcard wordings would be crafted to match. The committee offered feedback:
- Jason mentioned that we also have to consider whether we are successfully reaching renters and future property owners. Deborah echoed that renters have been a community that we have been mindful of not reaching as much as we would like and welcome suggestions.
- Peter said that he thinks one of the most effective ways to get people involved is to make it about them: For example, tell people to find out what’s happening by looking up their address. Deborah mentioned that the Map App is already being revised to have a function where people can enter their or any address, and pull up a parcel-specific description of proposed changes. Peter suggested that communications should lead with this feature.
- Linda and Jessi voiced concern that notification via postcards may not be enough. Suggestions to more effectively reach businesses included:
- Land Use attorneys in the community.
- Giving postcards to the permitting counter, and training permitting staff.
- Incorporating notification and communications (maybe directing people to the Map App to look up their address) into the display in the lobby
- Jessi asked staff to keep in mind that notices need to be sent to store staff, usually the bookkeeper, not to a regional office where they may be missed. Jovan mentioned that images of people on any materials either need to be absent, or need to represent more than one type of person.
- Kenneth cautioned that many community members may feel like the City will do what it wants to do, regardless of feedback. Deborah responded that we need to make sure that postcards and other materials, along with staff support, make it clear how people can best channel feedback, and offer the best testimony possible.
- Jason suggested that staff be mindful of putting proposed changes into a context that is directly relevant to people.
- Linda also suggested that staff could have more success reaching renters through organizations like an association of tenants, Venture Portland and other organizations or people who can notify others in their community. Additionally, sitting down with coalition chairs and directors could help prepare them to answer questions, cut down on calls, and direct people to the right place.
- Peter suggested that staff may want to create two versions of an early notification postcard, instead of the four proposed. He argued that many proposed changes may be citywide, affecting everyone. Additionally, it may be more useful to talk about proposed changes (the majority of which are zoning related) as either up/neutrally-zoned, or down-zoned. Especially when some sites are proposed to undergo multiple changes, make it less complex could be a good idea. Peter also stated that he didn’t think most property owners would worry too much about up-zoning, but down-zoning may invite more conflict.
- Jessi also suggested that staff try and reach property owners who may be living off-site or out of town. Suggestions included:
- Property owner associations.
- City-run trainings for landlords.
- County records.
- Peter suggested putting a flash on all city websites, linking to the Map App. Deborah mentioned that we did something similar for the Portland Plan (rotating slideshow).
Deborah then explained legally required notices, through Measure 56, which will be sent to some property owners. Deborah also briefly explained the rationale for these decisions, such as health & safety issues associated with very steep slopes and limited access by emergency vehicles. In other cases, changes are proposed in an attempt to true up lot sizes with zoning. Marty mentioned that a few places with down-zoning proposed are places that have already exceeded school capacity, aren’t close to services or parks, or are not well connected to transit, and where denser development may not be appropriate. The committee then discussed with staff, and pointed out some potential areas of concern:
- Committee members inquired whether people in outer East Portland may be concerned about down-zoning: 20-years ago, in East Portland the City up-zoned, and in many places people built apartments but services didn’t necessarily follow. At the moment, the City has more capacity than it needs to accommodate growth, so the plan is to reduce development capacity where it isn’t needed. Concerns with this plan included:
- Won’t the City have to up-zone again as more people who can’t afford to live close in move out? Won’t you have to provide services then? (Staff answered that likely yes, but within 20-years staff think the City is still well over-capacity.)
- Will people who bought property expecting growth in certain neighborhoods be upset at down-zoning?
- The City is mandated by state to have a certain amount of industrial, land, and we have a deficit. In some places where a developer can’t afford to clean up a brownfield, up-zoning it instead could make it appealing to clean up. Industrial users need to have other industries around them to encourage facilities development.
- Jovan asked whether any provisions are currently in place to make up for loss of potential revenue for school districts with down zoning. Deborah responded that the city is conducting an economic analysis right now to ensure we aren’t exacerbating or creating any problems such as this through down-zoning. We may think we are trying to improve school’s fiscal health, but we want to make sure that’s true.
- Jovan also pointed out that it is important to acknowledge places where people are perhaps just starting to feel comfortable in their neighborhoods again, and make sure that we aren’t implementing a policy that will undo positive neighborhood growth and cohesion.
Deborah and Marty ended by thanking the committee for their thoughtful feedback. The proposed plan will go through many rounds of revisions and feedback, and conversations like this are going to be extremely valuable.
Comprehensive Plan Update: CIC Briefing of the PSC
Marty informed committee members that a briefing from the CIC to the Planning and Sustainability Commission has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 22, at 6:00pm. The plan at the moment is to package a number of What We Heard and other outreach summary reports together, and write a cover letter from the CIC evaluating public involvement so far.
Marty then asked members to think about what they would like their feedback to the PSC to be. She then asked for volunteers to present, and Jovan, Jessi and Jason volunteered. Peter and Linda offered to assist. Marty offered to help prepare presentation materials, outlining bullets for members to fill in.
Marty summarized next steps, and volunteered to send out a 5-6 question survey to committee members as a starting point for feedback. Eden suggested attaching What We Heard reports as a refresher while thinking about survey questions.
Early Implementation: Public Involvement for the Transportation System Plan
Marty asked committee members to refer to their meeting packets, and read the email summarizing the Public Involvement Advisory Council’s (PIAC) initial feedback on the TSP Public Involvement Plan draft (also included). She then asked members to consider if they had any thoughts to add, and follow up via email by next week.
Linda and Peter pointed out that PBOT staff capacity is much more limited, and that the TSP Technical Expert Group (TEG) has been struggling to cover enough territory swiftly enough, so Linda asked PIAC and now the CIC for recommendations. The TEG needs to look at the TSP Public Involvement Plan draft, and the TEG hopes the TSP will come out in September with a list of projects and priorities for community to respond to during the fall. The main problem is that the committee doesn’t have anything to show yet, so adequate time for public to comment will be challenging.
Next steps (9:55 a.m.)
Marty: Between now and June 5th is a good time to offer feedback to PBOT regarding the TSP and PIAC’s input so far. Marty then reminded the committee of preparation for July 22 presentation, and upcoming community walks for Mixed Use Zones Project. Would also be good to have smaller meetings come and help us with specific outreach materials design over the summer.
CIC quarterly meetings
All meetings will be held at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Conference Room 2500A unless otherwise notified.
- Wednesday, May 28, 2014 8:00 to 10:00a.m.
- Wednesday, September 24, 2014 8:00 to 10:00a.m.
- Wednesday, November 19, 2014 8:00 to 10:00a.m.
- Wednesday, February 25, 2015 8:00 to 10:00a.m.
- Wednesday, May 27, 2015 8:00 to 10:00a.m.
Mixed Use Zones Project – Community Walks
Join community members and city planners on a community walk to share ideas for how zoning regulations can be crafted to achieve desired development outcomes.
- N Williams/MLK Near Fremont Community Walk on Thursday, May 29, 2014, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; meet at corner of N Williams & Fremont
- SE Division Near SE 30th Community Walk on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; meet at Piccolo Park (SE 28th Ave, south of Division)
- SW Multnomah Near Barbur Community Walk – Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; meet at 7688 SW Capitol (Multnomah Arts Center)
For more information, please contact Marty Stockton, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 503-823-2041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.