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BEST Business Center welcomes new Portland Climate Champions

BPS E-News Issue 4

Portland businesses are catching on about BEST Business Center’s free services to help green their operations, and several are working towards earning the Portland Climate Champion award with help from the BEST Business Center advising team. Becoming a Portland Climate Champion requires high performance in the areas of water use, energy conservation, sustainable purchasing, transportation policies and recycling practices.

One example is Elephants Delicatessen.  Elephants Delicatessen delivers on sustainable practices. All three Portland locations have earned recognition as Portland Climate Champions, demonstrating their commitment to saving resources, using energy wisely, and protecting the environment.

In order to attain the recognition, Elephants Delicatessen met specific benchmarks, including switching to low-flow fixtures, upgrading lighting throughout the stores, recovering food waste through their compost system, and offering their employees low-carbon transportation incentives. Collectively, these measures provide both cost savings and environmental benefits for the stores while supporting other local green businesses and educating their customers.

“For 30 years now, Elephants Delicatessen has worked to find ways to make green business our standard,” said Anne Weaver, Elephants Delicatessen CEO. “The beauty of being here in Portland is that the bar for sustainability is set high, and our community really understands what exactly our efforts mean.”
 
Elephants Delicatessen is leading the way by providing a wide range of catering, restaurant and grocery services while minimizing their carbon footprint. Catering menu options include a variety of locally grown, seasonal foods. The menu is designed so that waste is minimized; everything can be either composted or recycled. From their use of biodiesel in fleet delivery vehicles, to purchasing renewable electricity for their building loads, to a 90-percent food composting rate, Elephants Delicatessen is demonstrating that sustainable practices are at the core of their business. They are now recognized as a Portland Climate Champion to prove it.

Learn more about the BEST Business Center and Portland Climate Champions at www.bestbusinesscenter.org/recognition.


For the forest AND the trees

BPS E-News Issue 4

Portland’s trees provide more than a sense of identity as a “green city.” The City is currently undertaking a comprehensive review and update of Portland's tree regulations. The Citywide Tree Project proposal will be released for public review in mid-February. The Planning Commission will hold a briefing on February 23, and the Planning Commission and Urban Forestry Commission will hold a joint public hearing on March 23. Both the briefing and the joint hearing will take place at 6 p.m., Room 2500, 1900 SW Fourth Ave, Portland.

A draft proposal for the Tree Project is available for public review at www.portlandonline.com\bps\treeproject, and open houses for the public to learn more about the project prior to the hearing will be held on:

March 9, 2010
7-9 p.m.
Multnomah County Arts Center Auditorium
7688 SW Capitol Highway
Portland, Oregon 97219

 
March 16, 2010
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Floyd Light Middle School Cafeteria
10800 SE Washington St
Portland, Oregon 97216


Trees clean and cool our air and water, capture greenhouse gases, reduce energy demand, make streets more enjoyable for walking, enhance residential property values and business district vitality, and provide food for people and wildlife habitat. A Portland Parks and Recreation report valued the annual environmental and aesthetic benefits of Portland’s street and park trees at about $27 million and the replacement value of all trees in the city at roughly $5 billion.

Portland’s 2004 Urban Forestry Management Plan set goals to protect and enhance the urban forest, distribute tree-related benefits equitably and increase the citywide canopy from 26 to 33 percent. The City’s 2007 Urban Forest Action Strategy calls for public education, tree planting and maintenance, and policy and regulatory updates.

But Portlanders have long expressed concern that existing City tree rules are overly complex, confusing, inconsistent, and ineffective in protecting and preserving trees as the city grows. In response, City Council funded the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to lead the Tree Policy Review and Regulatory Improvement Project (aka Citywide Tree Project).

The project charge is to:
•    create a consistent, cohesive regulatory framework for Portland’s trees; and
•    enhance the urban forest through development and redevelopment.

With extensive input from neighborhood representatives, developers, arborists and environmental organizations, City staff developed a proposal to:
•    Create a new comprehensive tree code.
•    Address street trees, city trees and private trees more consistently.
•    Improve tree preservation and planting for new development.
•    Standardize the tree removal permit system, eliminating homeowner exemptions.
•    Improve customer service and information on tree programs and rules by establishing a single point of contact, 24-hour tree hotline and Community Tree Manual.
•    Provide cost-effective, efficient and practical solutions.

For more information and to learn about the upcoming workshops, visit www.portlandonline.com\bps\treeproject.

Airport Futures imagines PDX in 2035

BPS E-News Issue 4

Airport Futures is a collaborative effort between the City of Portland, Port of Portland and the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan community to create a long-range development plan for Portland International Airport (PDX) and the surrounding area through 2035. A 30-member community Planning Advisory Group is currently crafting three major products:

1)  PDX Master Plan: Updated aviation forecasts suggest a significantly slower rate of growth than the 2000 Master Plan estimated. To accommodate projected modest airport growth in the most sustainable way, the Port will maximize use of the existing terminal area through operational efficiencies. Limited development of the terminal, roadway and airfield is envisioned. A third parallel runway is well beyond the planning horizon.

2)  City Land Use Plan: The  Airport Futures Plan recognizes the importance of PDX to the regional economy by providing the Port with certainty that PDX will be allowed to operate and configure airport facilities in response to changing needs. The plan recognizes the potential impacts of airport growth on natural resources, traffic and noise by requiring mitigation, and it assures the community that significant new development (e.g., a third parallel runway) will involve a future planning process and Portland City Council approval.

3)  Ongoing Public Involvement: An ongoing public advisory committee for PDX is proposed to be established in the fall 2010. The mission is to support meaningful public dialogue and engagement, allow the community to inform PDX decision-making and raise public awareness about PDX and impacted neighborhoods. The Port of Portland, City of Portland and City of Vancouver will sponsor this committee.

The Planning Advisory Group is expected to make a formal recommendation on these three products to the City of Portland and Port of Portland in early spring 2010. For more information and updates to the schedule, visit www.pdxairportfutures.com.

Creating a livable, walkable neighborhood: SE 122nd Ave Project invites community to February 23rd workshop

BPS E-News Issue 4

The SE 122nd Avenue project is a Portland Plan pilot study exploring opportunities to create a healthy, sustainable and viable “20-minute neighborhood” along SE 122nd Avenue. A 20-minute neighborhood is a place where residents can enjoy convenient, safe and walkable access to daily services and amenities like transit, shopping, quality food, school, parks, and social activities.

The community is invited to a public workshop focused on urban design and infill development: Feb. 23, 2010, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ron Russell Middle School, 3955 SE 112th Avenue. The meeting will also feature an opportunity to comment on other ways to improve community amenities and livability. An existing conditions report on the area is expected soon, and a final report with recommendations is expected in June 2010.

Over 30 people attended a community workshop on Dec. 8, 2010, to discuss businesses and services in the area and ways to improve getting around in the neighborhood. The project also hosted a focus group for Spanish-speaking community members on February 8, and similar focus groups for Russian-speaking and Vietnamese-speaking groups are in the works. Finally, the BPS Youth Planners have conducted surveys and focus groups with dozens of youth in the area.
 
For more information visit www.portlandonline.com/bps/se122study or contact Julia Gisler at 503-823-7700.


It grows on you: Urban Growth Bounty education series offers gardening, sustainable food, chicken and beekeeping classes through November

BPS E-News Issue 4

Presented by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Urban Growth Bounty will grow your skills with fruit and vegetable gardening, cooking and cheesemaking, food planning and preserving — even chicken and beekeeping classes.


KGW News recently featured the first cheesemaking class on an evening broadcast. View the video here: http://www.kgw.com/thesquare/Learning-to-make-your-own-cheese-with--83410227.html


New partners and well-known experts are on board for the 2010 series, including Oregon Tilth, Ivy Manning and the creative hands at Salt Fire and Time, and Abby’s Kitchen. Classes for all skill levels are offered from February through November and held at locations all over the city.


Urban Growth Bounty will help you create your urban homestead, whether it’s Monique Dupre’s recipe for sustainable eating on a budget, Naomi Montacre’s keys to the care of urban chickens or Josh Volk providing the real dirt for growing prolific produce.


For detailed Urban Growth Bounty 2010 information and registration details, visit www.portlandonline.com/bps/ugb