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Summary Meeting Notes: February 21, 2013 for the Community Involvement PEG

Summary Meeting Notes

Community Involvement Policy Expert Group

Date: February 21, 2013

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Location: City Hall, 1221 SW 4th   Avenue, Portland, Pettygrove Room

PEG Attendees: Glenn Bridger, Nickole Cheron, Greg Greenway, Paul Leistner/ PEG co-lead, Morgan Masterman, Linda Nettekoven, Sara Schooley, Howard Shapiro, Marty Stockton/ PEG co-lead, Robb Wolfson

Guest: One individual

Facilitator: Deb Meihoff

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


Key Points and Outcomes 

  • Confirmed CI PEG’s work program March through      June 2013. The PEG will complete its work in June.
  • Reviewed responses to the PEG’s survey of      community involvement in land use and development processes.
  • Determined the final products from the CI PEG      will be (1) review / critique of the Working Draft goals and policies      taking into account equity, community sentiment voiced in the survey and      at the workshops,Oregon’s      land use program goals, and best practices models; and (2) framework      structure for Community Involvement Manual that will ultimately accompany      the updated Comprehensive Plan.


Welcome, Meeting Overview and Introductions


Updates and Announcements 

Presenters: Paul Leistner, Office of Neighborhood Involvement and MartyStockton, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability / PEG Co-leads


  • At the February meeting, the PIAC Comprehensive Plan Work Group continued work on the framework for the Communitas Involvement Manual and review of best practices around the country. Greg Greenway has written and reviewed many involvement manuals; he stated that a great majority of best practices are captured in the Portland Development Commission’s public participation manual, providing a good starting place for group’s work. It was also stated that most of the core ideas and policies in the national examples are contained in the current Working Draft goals and policies.
  • Linda Nettekoven asked if an existing CI group is or could be the depository for community ideas, experiences, and complaints about community involvement in land use. Linda, and presumably other community volunteers, hears information that could help practitioners in the City improve processes and implementation of policy over time. Staff will look into the best ongoing management system for this type of community feedback.


  • Draft notes from PIAC Work Group meeting of 2.5.13


Review and Discuss: PEG’s Community Survey (6:15 p.m. / 20 minutes)

Presenter: Paul Leistner, ONI / PEG Co-lead

Summary: Paul reviewed the process to analyze open ended questions from the PEG survey. In general, the biggest concerns heard from the community about participation in land use and development decisions include:

  • Limited community access to decision making
  • Many processes do not provide adequate time for the community to engage in an informed and productive way
  • There is a perceived disconnect between neighborhood system / advisory committees and the broader community - tension between being hyper-local and not local enough
  • Those receiving notification of land use and development changes are not necessarily inclusive of all of those who are impacted, should receive notification
  • There is a lack of consistency for processes within City government
  • City commissioner form of government is frustrating for some - view that some geographic area interests are not well represented
  • City staff do not appear to have adequate resources or training to achieve great community involvement, process design, and delivery
  • Relevant, meaningful, effective, and accessible communication is lacking
  • City needs to provide more culturally-appropriate involvement opportunities
  • Community members need early communication and education, so they can fully participate in planning processes
  • Many community members feel as though their feedback cannot make an impact and/or don’t understand how or if the information is used
  • All communication modes need to be accommodated: online, face to face, through community-based organizations
  • It is not clear how or who sets priorities in the City - seems like someone else always has more power
  • Processes are not engaging nor are they typically fun for participants
  • City has not been devoting adequate time or money to community involvement

The PEG will use the survey results in thinking through the Working Draft and developing the Community Involvement Manual.

The PEG discussed the need to disseminate the results back to the community. Once Paul has the summary report completed and posted, the City and PEG members will send notice to networks that were invited to participate in the survey.  Rob and Greg offered to assist with analyzing the quantitative responses. The PEG requested the PIAC work group assist with pulling out a few key themes from the survey that concisely summarize the results. This summary could be used for getting the word out about the results. Additionally, Marty will draft a story for the BPS e-newsletter and Paul will work through ONI to connect with media outlets.


  • CI PEG Survey Results (raw data)
  • Summary staff analysis of open ended responses in CI PEG survey


Review and Discuss: PEG Final Products and Work Plan

Presenter: Deb Meihoff, facilitator

Summary: The PEG discussed how to spend its remaining time together and their desired final products. In consideration of the Comprehensive Plan Update deadlines and work of the PIAC and its Comprehensive Plan work group, the PEG decided to focus the final four meetings on reviewing / shaping the Working Draft Goals and Policies and framing out the Community Involvement Manual that accompanies the Comprehensive Plan.

Focusing on the Working Draft, Manual framework, and summary memo means that the PEG will not be directly involved in drafting the Legislative Intent statement or White Paper; however, the discussions that have taken place over the past year with regard to these elements and along with feedback from the PEG survey will be the basis for the documents. It is likely the PIAC or its work group will work to complete the Legislative Intent and white paper - all PEG members are welcome to join in the work group meetings.

The most time-critical piece is to discuss the Working Draft before May 2013 deadlines for public comment. The PEG will consider issues of equity, feedback from the PEG survey and public workshops (and previous efforts that gathered community insights), and best practices for policies that address statewide land use program requirements for community involvement. PEG members requested the Working Draft review also cover policies outside of Chapter 1 that relate to Community Involvement, such as those for Environmental Justice and prioritization of public facilities projects.

For the conclusion of the PEG process, the staff leads will draft a memorandum that summarizes the PEG’s input on the Working Draft, discussions of community involvement principles, ideas for implementation (‘to do list’ for BPS), outstanding issues, and concerns that have surfaced throughout the PEG dialogue.

Review and Discuss: Community Involvement Manual

Presenters: MartyStockton, BPS and Paul Leistner, ONI / PEG Co-leads

Summary: Staff described the reason for and purpose of the Community Involvement Manual - what it is and how it’s currently used inPortlandand elsewhere. Primary audience for the Manual is City staff and/or their consultants who will be engaging in projects related to the Comprehensive Plan. The aim is to develop a web-based Manual, easily accessible to City staff who will be implementing the CI policies. The PEG discussed the need for the Manual to also be publicly available online and in print, to ensure an additional measure of accountability. PEG suggested that the Manual will be most useful and used if it is relevant, clearly written, and easy to access and use in practice.

At its May and June meetings, the CI PEG will work to frame the structure of the Manual; target is 30-40% completion. In preparation of this work, PEG members agreed to review the state’s primer on community involvement in land use planning, “Putting the People in Planning”. The PIAC workgroup has identified a few other manuals that are good and relevant examples. PEG members agreed to review these to gain a sense of what is typically included in a manual and how they are organized. [Links to these resources are noted below.] PEG members offered to check in with colleagues to determine if there are particular areas of community involvement they could use more assistance or guidance. 



Public Comment

[No public comments.]



PEG Check-in and Follow up

  • The CI PEG will meet four more times, once per month through June.
  • In March and April the PEG will review and discuss Working Draft goals and policies, taking into consideration best practices, PEG-identified elements of good public involvement, equity considerations, and community feedback.
  • May and June PEG meetings will be used to flesh out the structure of the Community Involvement Manual and review the draft memo summarizing the work of the CI PEG with recommendations about implementation.
  • Staff will talk to PIAC work group about mapping out additional focus groups for the PEG, drafting of the ‘White Paper’ and Legislative Intent, and additional work needed to move toward implementation.
  • Staff will discuss the best way to collect and track an ongoing community feedback on community involvement practices of the City, who will manage the system, and how to use the information.
  • Before the May meeting, PEG members will read the state primer, Putting the People in Planning, and will review the example public involvement manuals identified by the PIAC work group as good and relevant examples.
  • PEG members will check in with colleagues to determine if there are particular areas of community involvement on which they could use more assistance or guidance.


Meeting adjourned at 7:40 pm.