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Summary Meeting Notes: December 17, 2012 Education and Youth Success PEG

Summary Meeting Notes

Education and Youth Success Policy Expert Group Meeting #7

Meeting Date: December 17, 2012
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Attendees: Lois Cohen, Ernesto Contreras, Will Fuller, Gabe Graff, Douglas Hardy, Stacey Triplett, Lilly Windle, Helen Ying

Staff / Facilitator: Tom Armstrong, Deborah Stein, Christina Scarzello, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability;Clark Worth, Barney & Worth

Public / Guests:  Paul Anthony, Humboldt Neighborhood Association

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

Welcome and Reflections from Last Meeting

Presenter:Clark Worth
Summary: Self-introductions 

Reflections on November 19 meeting highlights: no comments were offered by PEG members.

Meeting Goal: Explore how gentrification and growth scenarios (which illustrate different ways the city can grow over the next 25 years) relate to issues of interest to this PEG.

Gentrification and Displacement

Presenter: Tom Armstrong, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Summary: Presentation on gentrification / displacement study conducted by BPS in collaboration with PSU

This study considers the problem of undervalued neighborhoods becoming more desirable (and less affordable) due to community development investments.  While there are benefits, there are also negative impacts.  Low income families—often renters—and small businesses are displaced as property values climb. The most vulnerable areas are close-in SW and SE, inner N/NE, and St. Johns neighborhoods.

With rapid appreciation in housing values, the City of Portland wants to identify the at-risk areas early, and target them with a “policy tool kit” to help deal with the cycle of upward housing market trends triggering displacement.

Comments and questions from PEG members:

  • What programs are in place now?  Which tools are most effective?  The best responses we have now are tax abatements and CDCs working to build affordable housing.
  • There’s pushback from some neighborhoods that don’t want more affordable housing.
  • How are schools impacted? Have some schools / districts become “landing zones” for those who are displaced?
  • Gentrification / displacement is hard to combat: the trend is driven by many individual market decisions. 
  • There’s a link between these trends, school enrollment, changing school boundaries and the “tipping point” in parents’ perceptions about “good” and “bad” schools.
  • There’s a difference between neighborhoods that historically experienced “redlining” by lenders and those that did not.  How is that taken into account?
  • Equity problems are real.  Some people don’t have the ability to choose neighborhoods or schools. 
  • The City’s attention to this problem is a good start!

Growth Scenarios

Presenter: Tom Armstrong, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Summary: Preview of growth scenarios, which will look at different ways in which a city can grow in the next 25 years.

Metro predicts the region will add 132,000 households and 147,000 jobs in 25 years.  An analysis shows Portland’s existing zoning already has enough capacity to accommodate its anticipated growth in new housing units.

Growth options being considered for Portland:

  1. A default alternative: maintain current, transit-oriented development pattern
  2. Focus growth/density along corridors (MLK, McLoughlin, Sandy, etc.)
  3. Concentrate development in fewer centers—“hubs”
  4. Expand the boundaries and growth potential for the Central City.  (Each option includes significant growth for Central City population / jobs.)

Questions and observations offered by PEG members:

  • With the anticipated influx of population and jobs, more information is needed on the impacts of growth on public services.
  • Will the preferred growth pattern be achieved through upzoning and downzoning?  Or through strategic public investments?
  • How do the growth scenarios align with schools and districts’ growth plans?

Additional information was presented by BPS. The performance measures of success in the Portland Plan may be applicable: frequent transit service (15-minute intervals), all day, within ¼ mile of homes.  Another concept is the “complete” or “20-minute” neighborhood, with key services located nearby. About half of Portland meets this standard. Deficient areas are in Southwest (lacks sidewalks) and East Portland(lacks transit service and parks).

Portland’s dual priorities for accommodating growth are to prioritize growth for high performing areas, and also to fill the gaps in underperforming areas.

The school enrollment ratio varies significantly: .26 students per household in Portland, versus .36 in Parkrose and .45 in David Douglas—almost double Portland’s ratio.  K-12 enrollment is projected to be flat in Parkrose, increase 40% in PPS, and double in David Douglas.

Further PEG questions and discussion on growth scenarios:

  • How does this relate to schools?
  • Funding issues for the DavidDouglasSchool. Distric tneed to be considered in allocating growth.
  • How can urban renewal and public/private investments be coordinated to benefit and support school districts?

PEG Process Looking Ahead

Presenters: Deborah Stein, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Summary: Preview of next steps in the Comprehensive Plan update

As outlined in the recent letter from BPS director Susan Anderson, the draft Comprehensive Plan update document is anticipated for release in mid-January. This is intended to elicit formal and informal public input.  Public workshops and a “facilitated public conversation” start on February 19. BPS will suggest to PEG members where reviewers should look in the document.

Later in 2013, BPS will release a series of citywide and detailed maps, and a list of the city’s major planned infrastructure investments.

Comments and questions from PEG members:

  • Will BPS start now to involve schools in the review?  Has a liaison been identified?
  • Input should be sought from school districts and others involved in the Cradle to Careers initiative.
  • Community education on the draft needs to be conducted at a “less sophisticated” level.
  • The Citizen Involvement Committee is also advising the outreach process, including how to involve youth.

Public Comment

No members of the public were present for the comment period.

Next Steps

The next PEG meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 22, 4:00—6:00 p.m.    The main topic will be an initial presentation and review of the Comprehensive Plan discussion draft.

Meeting handouts and presentations:

For more information, please contact either Deborah Stein, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability at 503-823-6991 or, or Clark Worth, Facilitator at 503-222-0146 or