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Summary Meeting Notes: April 18, 2013 Community Involvement PEG

Summary Meeting Notes

Community Involvement Policy Expert Group

Date: April 18, 2013

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 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, Linda Nettekoven, Sara Schooley, Marty Stockton/ PEG co-lead, Robb Wolfson

Guest: No guests.

Facilitator: Deb Meihoff

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


Key Points and Outcomes

  • Reviewed and critiqued the Working Draft how Chapters 2-8 relate, or not, to Chapter 1 Community Involvement and  surfaced ideas on how to improve the connection and further equity principles throughout the plan.
  • Crafted an new organizational structure for Chapter 1 and more recommendations as to which policies would be more  appropriately placed in Chapter 8 and in the accompanying Community Involvement Manual.


Welcome, Meeting Overview and Introductions   

PEG REPORTS: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies in Chapters 2-8

Presenters: CI PEG members

Summary: PEG members assigned themselves chapters of the Working Draft to review for linkages to Chapter 1 and issues of community involvement equity. Their key findings from the review of Chapters 2-8 of the Working Draft were reported to the group - see compilation of comments attached.

Background materials:


FACILITATED DISCUSSION: Discuss and Refine Organizational Structure of Chapter 1

Facilitator: Deb Meihoff

Summary: The PEG reviewed potential options to restructure Chapter 1 to integrate better with the other draft chapters. The PEG sorted the policies by type of function and recommended some policies to be moved to other chapters and others to be removed from the Working Draft for inclusion in the accompanying community involvement manual, as follows:

  • Recommend moving policies 1.1 and 1.2 regarding the community involvement program and Planning and Sustainability Commission’s role to Chapter 8-Administration and Implementation. With this move, it is recommended that a goal, policy, or narrative be added to bridge the community involvement program between Chapters 1 and 8.
  • Additional ideas to consider incorporation into policies 1.1, 1.2 and/or similar section of Chapter 8: Build Civic Infrastructure; Manual Evaluation; CCI; Process review: before, during, after; Adequate funding and resources
  • Recommend the following policies remain in Chapter 1 and be organized under the three categories, as shown in the following table:



Ongoing Policies

Project-specific Policies

CI Manual

1.4.b-e (subpolicies re Partners in Decision   Making)

1.6 Early Involvement

1.11 Accountability

1.12 Process Evaluation (policy only, subpolicies   to the Manual)

1.14Capacity  Building(policy only,   subpolicies to the Manual)

  • Community Assessment: character, trends,   historical inequities
  • Early Involvement: involve the community in   priority setting
  • Improve staff capacity (survey)

1.3 Representation

1.4 and 1.4a Partners in Decision Making

1.5 Transparency (also relates to Ongoing   Policies)

1.8 Adaptability

1.9 Accessibility (policy only, subpolicies to   the Manual)

1.10 Info for Effective Communication (also   related to Ongoing Policies)

1.13 Best Practices and Innovation

  • Data Collection and Analysis:   inventorying, mapping, data analysis, alternatives, etc (State Goal 1)
  • Accountability: process documentation   (literature review)
  • Technical information: bureaus assist   public involvement with needed technical information (State Goal 1)


1.7 Process design

1.12.e (subpolicy of Process Evaluation)

1.14.a-c (subpolicies re Capacity Building)

1.9.a-e (subpolicies re Accessibility)

  • Advisory Committees


  • Through the Working Draft review process a Planning and Sustainability Commissioner surfaced the concept of a policy to encourage “building civic infrastructure”. PEG members support this concept and recommend staff draft policy that responds to the suggestion.
  • Paul will follow up to check the new organizational structure, recommended above, against literature review and the community involvement survey to ensure key concepts have not been missed or lost.

Background Materials:


Public Comment

[No public comments.]


PEG Check-in and Follow up

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.



INTRODUCTION: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies




CHAPTER 2 HOUSING: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies




CHAPTER 3 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies


  • Overall comments
    • Identifies income disparities exist, particularly for people of color
    • Equity language throughout chapter:
      • A healthy economy improves educational outcomes, helps people obtain stable jobs to meet basic needs
      • Goal 3.1 Prosperity: economic growth supports diverse population
      • Policy 3.15 Development impacts/land development – protect underrepresented communities from adverse development
      • Policies 3.22-3.26 Household prosperity – improve opportunities to reduce poverty, provide family-wage jobs, provide workforce training and dev, reduce racial, ethnic and disability-related disparities in income and employment opp
      • Policy 3.51 Neighborhood business districts – provide for economic equity among business districts
      • Policy 3.55 Investment priority – prioritize investments that serve historically underserved communities
      • Policy 3.56 – prevent involuntary commercial displacement
      • Policy 3.57 Affordability – preserve affordable commercial space to support small businesses
      • Ideas for improvement to equity issues:
        • Improving economic equity and affordability will depend on making equity amore central part of City policy and investments
        • Citywide neighborhood prosperity will depend on new approaches for neighborhood revitalization, affordability, and small business growth
        • Community involvement language throughout chapter:
          • (kind of) Policy 3.46 Development impacts/Campus institutions – encourage development that provides community amenities
          • Policy 3.49 Communication – encourage timely communication between institutions and communities
          • Policy 3.58.b. cooperation and partnerships between public and private entities for economic vitality in disconnected communities
          • Policy 3.58.c – encourage cooperative efforts for commercial revitalization



CHAPTER 4 WATERSHED HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies

Goal 1.A Community Involvement as a partnership

-          With few exceptions, Ch. 4 does not identify human actors as part of any policy negating the opportunity for “partnership”. This could be an opportunity to identify actors within the policies and support of specific partnerships that should be engaged, if deemed appropriate.

Goal 1.B Value of community wisdom and participation

-          Ch. 4 does not address community wisdom, but rather scientific analysis.

Goal 1.C Transparency and accountability

-          While mitigation efforts are required, the reporting of such efforts are not. This could be improved so that there is documentation available on these efforts. This is perhaps an implementation piece.

Goal 1.D Ongoing and diverse participation

-          Ch. 4 does not address human relationship with nature, therefore diverse population is not addresses.

Goal 1.E Accessible and effective participation

-          Same as above.

Goal 1.F Social Justice

-          While the environmental justice goal has the potential to address social justice, it is absent from the policies.


  • Generally this chapter does not integrate Community Involvement or equity goals. There seemed to be an opportunity through the intent of the stated Environmental Justice goal, but interestingly none of the policies included in the section directly address Environmental Justice as they do with the other stated goals of “Land, air, water, and wildlife” and “Resiliency”. Each of these sections has a set of policies associated with the goal. 4.15 is the only policy that addresses impacts to underserved communities, and I had difficulty understanding what this policy actually meant.
  • The chapter is scientific and biologically focused and does not generally relate to the relationship of nature with humans and the role of communities who may be negatively impacted by environmental hazards.
  • The comment section states: “Portlanders have the right to “healthy watersheds, including clean air and water, equitable access to nature, and protection from natural hazards.” Unfortunately this intent is not fully supported through the goal or following policies as written.
  • Policies under Resiliency (4.11-4.16) address impact mitigation with natural areas but not the human populations, with the exception of 4.15.


There is lots of room in this section to build in the relationship of the environment with the human populations that live in and are affected by health of the watersheds. This relationship will be important to address in future drafts.


CHAPTER 5 URBAN DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies

p. 5-4 The city is designed for people. This policy emphasizes that long‐range decisions should reflect the desires and aspirations of Portland’s diverse communities.


p. 5-4 is listed as 6-4

Goal 5.F.Human and environmental health, isn’t bolded (on p. 5-4)

I don’t understand why the same goals appear both on pp. 5-4 and 5-5. Condense the language under the goals into 1 page! Otherwise this looks sophomoric and is confusing!

Policy 5.1.Design for people, clarifies that although it is important to plan for and design for growth and public investment citywide, decisions at a smallerthe more local scale (districts, neighborhoods, blocks, and so forth) should be refined by the local community. The community should be involved in an inclusive process to ensure residential and business needs are met and so local implementation is responsive to the differing needs ofPortland’s diverse communities.

Policy 5.5. Energy and resource efficiency, supports conserving all forms of energy through

land and use planning and development.


Policy 5.9. Significant places, updates current Comprehensive Plan Policy 12.1.(Portland’s

Character), which calls for design that builds on important elements and features in the city.

This new policy highlights the importance of key types of places that serve as attractions, connections, and viewpoints that serve as places to celebrate and enhance.


Policy 5.13. Inner Neighborhoods. See general commentary regarding Policies 5.12.through 5.15. Subpolicy 5.13.d acknowledges that in some Inner Neighborhood areas, up to 40 percent of the land area is devoted to street rights‐of‐ways, with street connections every 200 feet in some


5.14.d. Enhance the area’s distinctive system of trails to expand connections, mobility, and active living opportunities in the area.

5.16.a. Maintain and enhance the area’s regionally significant nexus of Oregon's  largest airport and seaport and largest airport; unique multimodal freight, rail, and harbor access; and proximity to anchor manufacturing and distribution facilities.

Subpolicy 5.17.c. (IN THE COMMENTARY) Take out the dates when the plans noted were written as they aren’t needed.

5.17.c. Prioritize connecting centers to each other and to other key destinations by

frequent and convenient transit and by quality pedestrian and bicycle networks. (ON PAGE 5-17)

SUBPOLICY 5.17.c –From equity standpoint, you could add economic background as another reduction in barriers consideration.

Policy 5-21. Gathering Places Without these design approaches, locating plazas and other urban open

spaces in places that lack activity or people risks can result in underutilized “dead” space.

Policy 5.22. Typology of centers, provides a basis for a citywide system of centers, based on

their function and scale, rather then whether they are districts or linear main streets. This

policy will be used in during the Comprehensive Plan Update process to help community

members identify what types of centers are appropriate in each community.


Under 5.22.d  AImportant role in accommodateing growth by accommodating, with capacity for at least 7,000 households (or equivalent mix of residents and workers) within a ½-mile  radius of their core. This is, providing for sufficientenough population to support a full-service neighborhood business district.

Use lower-case “city” rather than “City” throughout the document!!!




CHAPTER 6 PUBLIC FACILITIES AND SERVICES: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies

General Comments

Chapters 6 and 7 seem to both deal with similar issues. Parts of these spaces use are the same, namely, the right of way. More compatibility in their content and structure is needed, to the benefit of the users of the Comp Plan. A single CIP should be developed between the activities of the agencies complying with the two Chapters. Community involvement principles application to the development of all CIP’s and other management plans should be clear, continuous, and unavoidable.

Style comment from a long-time right of way professional: when referring to right of way or rights of way, just get rid of the hyphen. It adds no value to the term, and is moving towards disuse.

Page 6-5. The third paragraph of “Why this is important” contains a commitment to bring balance in service across the city, and to provide or improve services into underserved communities. This standard should be incorporated into Chapter 7 also.

Page 6-11 to page 6-47. The direct statements of Policy that are set forth here are generally clear and well stated.

Pages 6-19/21. The Public rights of way. Policy does not address private uses of these public lands. Private uses range from commercial uses, opportunities to rent or lease excess ROW for private purpose, removal of invasive vegetation, control of vegetation for public safety purposes, and actions to remove unpermitted encroachments.



CHAPTER 7 TRANSPORTATION: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies

General comments:

The opening commentary reflects upon the use of external plans such as the Portland Transportation System Plan, Freight Master Plan, Regional Transportation Plan, Climate Action Plan, Portland Bicycle Plan, etc. in shaping work of the city.  The chapter does not specify that in the future each and all any such planning efforts will be in conformance with the Comp Plan Community Involvement Section.

No policy on private uses of public transportation corridors, ranging from rentals of parking spots to adjacent business to installation of private improvements and private storage on the public lands to the clearance of vegetation hindering the many specified uses of the corridors, including keeping clear pedestrian space and view space for wheel chairs, drivers, etc.

Page 7-9, Policy 7.6. The stated priorities are fantastic, as it defines walking as having the highest priority. The sub-policies however seem to say “just kidding, did not mean it.”

Page 7-17, Policy 7.22.  This section shows an uneven approach to Community Involvement. The good news is that it recognizes places for such involvement; the bad news is that it seems to imply that other parts of the program do not need community involvement. For example, 7.22.d specifies neighborhood stakeholder involvement; 7.22.c does not, yet this topic has brought with it strong negative reaction as a result of deals made.

Page 7-19. Policy 7.24. The CIP has historically been developed internally.  This is one of the key action documents in Transportation.  The Comp Plan must be worded clearly to assure all future CIP’s and adjustments to it are carried out using the Community Involvement standards.  

Page 7-19, multiple policies. The prioritization of funding and level of work effort is complex, yet extremely important to the city. With many needs competing for limited resources, the methods used for determining priorities, as well as determining how to allocate the limited funding among the variety of competing priorities is extremely important. The Comp Plan needs to be worded clearly to assure all prioritization and allocation processes are developed using the Community Involvement standards, and are periodically reviewed and revised also following such processes.



CONTINUED CHAPTER 7 TRANSPORTATION: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies


  • Overall comments
    • Identifies equity and health but doesn’t connect Portlanders voice/knowledge in achieving these outcomes by involving them in the ongoing decision-making process for transportation.
    • Identitifies equity for Portlanders, specifically calling out age, people of color and people with disabilities.
    • Equity language throughout chapter:
      • Goal 7.C. An equitable transportation system
      • Goal 7.D. A healthy transportation system
      • Policy 7.8 Pedestrian transportation – increasing opportunities and enhancing the ped environment, safety, accessibility and convenience.
      • Policy 7.7 Transportation affordability – calls out improving and maintaining affordability for all Portlanders, see overall comment, bullet two, above.
      • Subpolicy 7.10.a public transportation – equitably serves city residents.
      • Ideas for improvement to equity issues:
        • Can/should parking management (Policy 7.22) be expanded to address accessibility?
        • Policy 7.24 Project priorization…no mention of equity criteria or public feedback.
        • Community involvement language throughout chapter:
          • Policy 7.23 Education and encouragement – speaks to the ongoing capacity building, which could be strengthened with adequate funding policy to be developed for community involvement program
          • (kind of) Policy 7.29 – implement district specific policies….reflects differing topography, historic character, natural features, economic needs, demographics….seems that the historic and demographics is found out through community involvement, why not state this?


CHAPTER 8 ADMINISTRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION: Findings of Community Involvement and Equity related Policies

Specific language:


  • Goal 8.E. Seems interesting that “developers” is listed first. Even if there is no prioritization intended, is seems odd that developers are specified and listed before neighbors or the public. Could it be replaced by “Portlanders?”
  • Goal 8.9. “Consider” sounds like a weak verb, and very non-commital.
  • Policy 8.12. Should involve some “working with the community/coordinating with community groups/etc” statements in how we “Promote good planning, ensure good administration of land use regulations, and strive to improve the code document.”
  • Policy 8.14. Should include equity as an important part of making and prioritizing a CIP.
  • Policy 8.15. Community organization/partners should be stated as potential partners for coordination agreements.
  • Policy 8.20. Should specifically call out liaisons of community-based organizations that serve underserved communities.


Broader notes:

In reading Chapter 8, it’s easy to realize that the Comp Plan is primarily a land use plan and zoning tool. That said, given the direction that the Comp Plan has been going (a broader guiding document for all aspects of the City), I think Chapter 8 could also be broadened. Right now, it’s focused completely on BPS work. In thinking, “how could this be used for PBOT, the Water Bureau, etc.,” I was a little confused. In our PEG, we’ve often referred developing a Community Involvement Manual, and I think some sort of “how to use the Comp Plan” manual would be useful and that the “Implementation” chapter seems like the most logical place for it. Or, this Chapter could refer to a manual…

Lastly, Chapter 8 spends a lot of time stating the importance of the Comp Plan aligning with Regional Plans, State Law, etc. I think, if we’re really serious about empowering the public, that we should also state that the Comp Plan will acknowledge and adjust to community plans as well – Equity Atlas, State ofBlack Oregon, etc. I think many bureaus do take these community plans into consideration when doing their work, but it would be nice to have some back-up to their importance in the Comp Plan.