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Summary Meeting Notes: July 6, 2012 Watershed Health and Environment PEG

July 6, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

PEG Attendees: Judy Bluehorse Skelton, Shannon Buono (PEG staff), Claire Carder, Corky Collier, Sallie Edmunds (PEG lead), Marla Harrison, Mike Houck, Roberta Jortner, Mary Helen Kincaid, Noelwah Netusil, Emily Roth, Jennifer Thompson, Marie Walkewiecz, Jeri Williams, Dena Marshall (facilitator)

Other Attendees: Joan Fredrickson (BPS), Dave Harvey (public), Tom Karwaki (public), Jeremy O’Neal (public), Marty Stockton (BPS)

View the original agenda, including materials, for this meeting.

Welcome & Introductions 

Presenter: Dena Marshall, Decisions Decisions (facilitator)

  • Summary: Ms. Marshall provided a short review of the first PEG meeting, acknowledging several emergent themes including the group’s desire to consider equity impacts as they relate to the topics for discussion and the group’s interest in taking some time at the beginning of the process to build trust and rapport within the group.
  • Ground rules.  The group reviewed and agreed to proceed along the ground rules, which are laid out on page 5 of the PEG Charter.  They include (1) Listen and be open to the diverse points of view represented on the Policy Expert Group; (2) Treat each other with civility and respect; (3) Strive to further understanding of the needs and interests of the broad range of communities that are stakeholders in the activities and plans for the city; (4) Provide fair and balanced information to our constituencies about the issues that come before the PEG and the group’s discussions.

 Meeting Handouts and Presentations: 


Portland Comprehensive Plan Overview 

Presenter: Shannon Buono, BPS

Summary: Ms. Buono provided a recap of the Portland Comp Plan. 

  • Summary of presentation: The Comprehensive Plan is a long-range land use plan that reflects the community’s desires and priorities regarding howPortlandwill accommodate population and employment growth over a 20-25 year period.  The Comprehensive Plan consists of three parts: goals and policies, a set of maps and a list of capital projects.  State law requires that a comprehensive plan have sufficient and effective implementing measures. Some of these implementing measures are familiar, such as the Zoning Maps (e.g., base zones, overlay zones) and the Zoning Code.  Other implementing measures include urban renewal, interagency agreements and tax abatements.  Together, the three elements of the Comprehensive Plan guide decisions about land use and public facilities.
  • There were questions about what documents are going to be used to update the Comp Plan. Several PEG members provided information about these items and how these other documents will be linked.


Review the Work of the PEG 

Presenter: Sallie Edmunds, BPS

  • Ms. Edmunds reviewed the handouts for the meeting. She noted that the Draft Comp Plan Watershed Health and Environment Policy Topic paper represents a synthesis of policies or general policy direction from other previously adopted City of Portland plans.
  • The Draft Comp Plan Policy Topic list has items that have been identified for the PEG to discuss.
  • Issues presented for PEG discussion represent the various topics that have not previously been addressed in other planning processes, and for this reason, PEG discussions are especially important. 
  • Some PEG members suggested that climate adaptation, biodiversity, inter-generational equity, cultural equity, and inter-species equity be included in the list of discussion topics.


Ecosystem Services and Functions 

Presenter: Marie Johnson Walkiewicz

  • Ms. Walkiewicz provided a definition of Ecosystem Services and reflected the City’s interest in designing a legally sound way to address Ecosystem Services as related to land and buildings, transportation, other infrastructure and economic development. She noted that many people forget that even in an urban setting we are dependant on nature. The City has an interest in characterizing the benefits of ecosystem services. The City is trying to be very clear about the practical benefits of ecosystem services in City projects that will not confuse the public. One of the questions that the group may want to consider is about the language it uses – ecosystem function, ecosystem services or other similar language.
  • PEG members discussed the distinction between services vs. functions, highlighting interests in policymaking including:
        1. Addressing cultural and spiritual aspects of the natural world
        2. Estimating the costs (weighted and reduced) incurred by the loss of an ecosystem function
        3. Acknowledging the interdependence of species, and a sense of intrinsic values of nature in its own right, separate from more human-centric
        4. Evaluating and tracking the distribution of benefits over time – who’s benefitting, how to measure the benefits. Some of these benefits take a long time to accrue and become cost-effective (longer than conventional planning timelines)
        5. Climate change considerations and impacts on ecosystem functions
        6. Including the terms “well-being” and “green infrastructure” (parks and open spaces), “watershed”, “ecosystem service (or function)” as well as a “values statement” in the goal statement
        7. Improve, or clarify the valuation of ecosystems because most people value things in relation to themselves.


Public Involvement 

Presenter: Marty Stockton (BPS)

  • Ms. Stockton provided background and overview of the Comp Plan public involvement process, highlighting the successes of the Portland Plan and VisionPDX. Two important overarching principles outlined in the Portland Plan are resiliency and prevention because they have profound impacts.
  • Ms. Stockton noted that they went through an open recruitment process to get a variety of community members to participate. There were many lessons learned from the Portland Plan and they are striving to ensure early involvement and transparency. Achieving broad public involvement begins at the beginning, and will increase over the course of the Comp Plan process.
  • A PEG member said that it’s important to talk about the historical inequity so people understand the background. Having some sort of document that describes historical inequity would be helpful. Another member suggested that there be a “what it means to you” section so people can understand the impact of the Comprehensive Plan to them for understanding and buy-in.


Public Comment (10 minutes)

Jeremy O’Leary, Community Member.

  • Emergency preparedness, resiliency and sustainability are the same thing in different timeframes, and are important components of citywide planning that needs to be included in the discussion.

Dave Harvey, Gunderson

  • Talking about the economic development side is important. There are equity and social values inherent in people having jobs, and how will the environmental polices affect the equity issues and the boundary issues.

Tom Karwocky, Northwest Neighborhood Association

  • We are concerned with the speed with which the Comp Plan process is happening, and call for more public involvement.


Our next meeting will be July 31, 3-5p, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Room 7A

For more information, please contact either Sallie Edmunds at 503-823-6950; or Dena Marshall, Facilitator at 503-740-7123;


Flip Chart Notes

  •  Welcome and Intros
  • Portland Comp Plan
  • Review the work of the PEG
  • Ecosystem Services and Functions
  • Public Involvement Process
  • Public Comment
  • Wrap up


Comp Plan – Shannon

  1. Goals and Policies – Physical development
  2. Maps – Future Development for Growth
  3. Projects – allowed uses, public investments to support projects
  4. Zoning Code – procedures, criteria, guidelines
  5. Long range plans: Airport Futures/Cully/Food
  6. What influences the Comp Plan?
  7. What does the Comp Plan influence?


Work of WHE PEG

  1. Topics for PEG discussion
  2. Number of Topics for Cross-PEG discussion – in process
  3. Number of Topics to track
  4. How does it relate to Portland Plan and Equity Framework?



Climate Adaptation

Intergenerational Equity

Interspecies Equity

Value of Ecosystems:

Inherent value

            Be clear about what is “inherent”

            Be clear about world view


Ecosystem Services

  • Define: Public benefits provided by natural resources and green infrastructure
  • Not intrinsic, strictly
  • Seek manner of characterization of benefits
  • Values based discussion?
  • How to reflect the benefits in: policies, maps, projects
  • To consider: contribution of ecosystem
    • Functions and processes to human well being
    • Includes production of foods, process that support life, aesthetic and spiritual needs, preserve options
  • Anthropogenic/bio-centric approach
  • Default / break new ground
  • Contextualizing new policy
  • Ecosystem Function / Ecosystem Services – should be integral part of EcDev and WHE discussions
  • Definition should be flexible, adaptable and include distribution and weight of benefits time horizon --> policy should be doable for generations
  • How do we relate upstream and downstream
  • Consider other creatures – to keep intrinsic value of nature very high
  • How to capture “Tamanawit” concepts in policy
  • Good statement
    • Add “well being”
  • “Sustain healthy populations of both common and rare or native species”
  • “Quality of life” / a value statement, baseline philosophy
  • Other infrastructure
    • Parks and open spaces
    • Green infrastructure
  • [Ecosystem function / service]
  • What level of detail to explore ES/F?
  • How value relates to us/humans
  • How to improve the way we assign value